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New group to help tackle violence against women and girls has launched

17 February 2022
Women and girls

A special multi agency group, which will work together to help women and girls feel safer in North Herts, has just been launched.

Consisting of North Herts Police, North Herts Council, Herts Fire and Rescue Service and local housing association, settle, the new group will be utilising the government’s latest online tool StreetSafe, which allows people to flag locations where they feel unsafe, in the areas where they live or work.

These locations will be reviewed by the group and visited to see what measures can be taken to make these areas feel safer. Hosted on the national policing website and aimed primarily at women and girls, StreetSafe enables members of the public to anonymously drop a pin onto a map and describe any factors that cause them to feel unsafe.

Neighbourhood Inspector for North Herts, James Lant said: “By working together and using a multi-agency approach we hope to be able to tackle the concerns raised by our local communities.

“StreetSafe will provide us with information about the places that women and girls feel unsafe, and this can be used alongside other data we hold, to shape our policing strategy and the changes necessary to make women and girls feel safer.

“Input from our local communities is vital and the information from StreetSafe will be used as part of our ongoing work to tackle violence against women and girls in all forms, and we hope the data provided will enrich our understanding of our communities’ concerns.

"StreetSafe has not been designed to report crime, but we hope more women and girls will come forward and report crimes like sexual harassment through existing channels.”

Jeanette Thompson, Legal and Community Service Director at North Herts Council, added: “It is so important that women and girls, in fact anyone, should be able to go about their business in the district and feel safe. We are pleased to join this multi-agency group to address those places where people, especially women and girls, might feel less safe."

Rachel McFarlane, Director of Housing at settle, said: “Our priority at settle is to provide homes that are safe and comfortable for residents to live in. As a local landlord, we work closely with residents to help ensure their neighbourhoods are great places to live. We’re delighted to continue working with our partners to help all residents to feel safe, particularly through StreetSafe, which will help women and girls feel more reassured when it comes to their safety.”

Julie Springett, Prevention Coordinator for North Herts and Stevenage at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We welcome StreetSafe as another opportunity to work with our partners to protect Hertfordshire residents, particularly women and girls, from harm. If you feel as though you are in danger, remember that you can come to a fire station where we will make a safe space for you.”

Visit StreetSafe - in a non-emergency, call 101, in an emergency always dial 999.