More Than 200 Safe Spaces Now Operating For Women And Girls in Kirklees
Friday August 23, 2023
A drive to provide safe places for women girls and others at risk in Kirklees has passed a major milestone after setting up more than 200 spaces.
Kirklees Police and partners have welcomed the rapid expansion of the Safe Zone scheme which has seen business, sports centres, and places of education sign up to become safe spaces for those at risk.
There are now 230 of the zones operating, a substantial increase in available places which numbered around 100 in February this year.
Sixteen PSCO’s have also now had special training to allow them to operate as ambassadors for the zones and ensure that they are properly supported.
Safe Zones continue to operate in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Mirfield and more with training provided to those staffing them about how to provide initial support to those who come in to seek help.
All zones promote themselves with the specially designed Safe Zone sticker with staff receiving specialist training from Safe Zone partners who include Kirklees Police, Kirklees Council and the charity Barnardo’s.
Safe Zones are areas where a woman, or child could step off the street if they feel they are being followed until the risk has passed, or they might wish to charge their phone and call a friend or parent.
The continuing expansion is just one of a range of safety initiatives operating in Kirklees District with a focus on protecting women and girls as well as persons who may be particularly vulnerable.
Continuing safeguarding initiatives in Kirklees have included the Night Safety Bus which launched in Huddersfield last year.
The bus was introduced specifically to support women using the night time economy, but was made open to anyone who found themselves in a vulnerable position while enjoying a night out in Huddersfield.
The bus and its team of trained staff from Locala and CHART Kirklees were on hand to help people report sexual harassment, provide a safe space if someone is feeling threatened, and offer support for those enjoying the nightlife of Huddersfield.
Meanwhile, plans are also being made to provide extra policing support to both returning and new students in September as part of Freshers week.
Kirklees Police continues to work closely with The University of Huddersfield and Safer Kirklees each year to support the week and input into a host of initiatives to help young people stay safer.
Inspector Mark Pattinson of Kirklees Police, said: “The Safe Zone scheme has been a central plank of our work to improve the safety of women and girls and vulnerable people in Kirklees.
“It’s continued expansion is really positive news, and the rapid increase in spaces is testament to both the hard work of our crime prevention officers and the real enthusiasm among partners to pitch in and support us.
“Feedback from partners has informed us these spaces have been a welcome addition to our town centres and they are a practical contribution towards making women and girls safer as well as a visual symbol of our determination to continue this work.
“I want to thank all involved for their support and input into the scheme, which we continue to develop as part of our wider safety work.”