Cumbria police encourage use of Street Safe Tool

Cumbria Police are encouraging members of the public to tell us where you feel unsafe via the Street Safe tool.

The Street Safe online tool is a free national service for anyone to anonymously tell us about public places where you feel or have felt unsafe. This can be because of environmental issues such as lack of street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism, or because of behaviours such a being followed or verbally abused

While the tool can be used by anyone, it is an important part of our ongoing efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls in Cumbria allows us to better understand the specific areas where they do not feel safe.

Local community policing teams monitor the Street Safe data to identify any hotspot areas. They then work with partners to address the concerns reported.

The GWEN Initiative (Girls and Women Engagement Network) has been set up by the force to focus on the seldom heard groups of women and girls; bridging the gap between the Street Safe tool. This allows us to encourage women and girls who normally would not engage with this tool, to use it and tell us where they do not feel safe. We have seen encouraging results so far from a trial in Workington.

Inspector Pete Aiston said: “Street Safe is not a tool to report crime – for that we would urge people to continue using 101 and 999.

“But it can really help us get a better understanding of the areas where people feel unsafe and the issues causing this and, working with our partners, we could work to address this.

“If it is an issue with street lighting, for instance, we could link up with the relevant authority and aim to resolve this. If it is a wider issue with fear of crime, it may be one for ourselves in the police.

“Cumbria Police takes concerns of safety, from anybody, seriously.

“If we don’t know about areas where there are issues, we can’t put anything in place to resolve the issue.

“While our message is for everyone, we are very keen to hear from women and girls who have had who have had experiences where they have felt unsafe, so please tell us via the Street Safe tool, so that we can help create safer spaces in Cumbria”

Detective Inspector Matt Belshaw is the constabulary’s dedicated operational Violence Against Women and Girls detective inspector.

He said: “Feeling unsafe is obviously not an experience exclusive to women and girls.

“But offences such as sexual violence and harassment offences are overwhelmingly committed by males against females.

“We believe we have made great progress in improving how we deal with these offences and issues.

“We have implemented a range of measures, operations and activities to make women and girls feel safer and to deter these crimes and tackle the perpetrators of these offences – and this Street Safe tool is our latest measure to aim to make women and girls feel as safe as possible in Cumbria.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe when out in their community, therefore, it is so important that the public report areas where they have not felt safe and why.

“Cumbria is one of the safest counties in the country. However, many women and girls still feel unsafe when out and about on our streets.

“This is an issue we are determined to reduce and resolve so I would urge the public to use the Street Safe tool, which is an easy access resource, to highlight the areas they feel unsafe in.

“By reporting it, we can work as a community to create an even safer Cumbria for everyone.”

Access the Street Safe tool online via any device: StreetSafe | Police.uk (www.police.uk)

Street Safe is not a tool to report crime. Please report any crime by calling 101 or report online at: www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it . Always dial 999 in an emergency.


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