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A Warrington-wide campaign has launched to tackle behaviours linked to violence and harassment against women and girls.
The #SaferStreets campaign, delivered in partnership between Cheshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cheshire, Warrington Borough Council, businesses and schools, will aim to address and tackle problematic behaviours through a visible campaign presence in and around the town centre. Dedicated training and awareness sessions are also being delivered across Warrington’s high schools and colleges.
In November 2021, Warrington successfully applied for £550,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to help tackle violence and intimidation against women and girls.
The Safer Streets campaign sees a wealth of materials produced and posted across the borough to spread the message about unacceptable behaviours linked to violence and harassment against women and girls. This will include posters, billboards, shop frontage wraps and much more.
Those who see the campaign will be reminded to think about the impact their actions could have on someone else, and how we can all play our part in keeping each other safe.
In addition to the visual campaign, innovative awareness training is being delivered to high schools and colleges across the borough, areas within the town centre are being improved through CCTV and lighting investments, and an awareness and learning package for taxi drivers and other guardians to promote active bystander intervention is also being rolled out - all of which are aimed at making residents feel safer.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said: “Education on this subject is key, and the messages being spread around the borough are clear and are holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
“Tackling violence against women and girls is one of my priorities in my Police and Crime Plan, and the Constabulary has been working hard across the county to ensure that this type of crime is tackled, and people feel safe on the streets. Once this project in Warrington is complete, my aim is to look into the effectiveness of this work and roll it out across the county.
“I want to reassure women and girls in Cheshire that their safety is taken extremely seriously by the police and partners. Violence against them is not their fault. Responsibility lies with the people who commit these crimes and this funding will be key in helping to change attitudes and behaviours.”
Inspector Upile Mtitimila, Cheshire Police, Warrington Occupational Lead for Safer Streets 3 said: “The launch of the Safer Streets awareness campaign in Warrington is the culmination of many months of hard work with key partners committed to tackling violence against women and girls. This partnership has given us significant capacity and impact for change and action.
“Following a survey by Warrington Borough Council, focused on the safety of women in public spaces, a series of investments have been made that should see improvements and benefits to all those that live, work and visit Warrington.
“Operationally, within the Warrington area, we have taken proactive measures to identify and target predatory behaviour and intervene appropriately to help users of the Town Centre feel safe. We are sending a clear message that violence and harmful behaviours against women, and any vulnerable users of the town centre, will not be tolerated.”
Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “I am proud that the council is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other organisations and groups across Warrington on this important campaign. Harassment and violence against women and girls, in any form, is completely unacceptable, and tackling behaviours linked to it is an absolute priority.
“It is essential that we address behaviours linked to intimidation and violence against women and girls, but it is also important to educate people on how to become allies and take a preventative approach to stop problematic attitudes in the first place. I am therefore pleased to support the education and awareness programme that will be rolled out in schools, which will help to address important issues and conversations around consent and acceptable behaviours.
“I am proud of the steps the council continues to take to make our streets safer for everybody. We will keep offering our support with practical, wide-ranging measures, such as improved street lighting and CCTV, alongside the rollout of the educational programme. The launch of the Safer Streets campaign is another opportunity to make Warrington an even safer and more welcoming place.”