£ 800,000 to make Northumberland, Tyne and Wear subways, buses and parks safer after Sarah Everard’s murder


Plans to spend £ 800,000 to make parks and public transport safer for women were revealed today.

New video surveillance, more public lighting and security guards on public transport are among the measures that should be put in place, following the murder of Sarah Everard.

Northumbria Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness today unveiled how money from the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund will be used to improve areas of Tyne and Wear and Northumberland where women have said they feel less safe.

Sarah everard

The plans include a £ 400,000 package to improve public transport with a new reporting app to transform the way all passengers report crime and anti-social behavior, body-worn cameras for transport personnel, street pastor-style security volunteers patrolling the metro system, and additional CCTV linked to control rooms.

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The rest of the money will be spent in parks in the Northumbria Police Zone, where new CCTV cameras integrated with help points will be installed in the parks, which are linked to CCTV control rooms.

There will also be an independent review of street lighting in selected parks and recommendations for new street lights were needed.

Hirst Park in Ashington, Saltwell Park in Gateshead and Mowbray Park in Sunderland will be among the areas for improvement.

And as part of the park as a whole, academic research on what makes a park safe will be conducted, with women and girls invited to form a new safety steering group to help design new safety standards for the parks of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.

Hirst Park, Ashington

The investment follows national concern over women’s safety in light of the murder of Durham University graduate Sarah Everard.

Ms McGuinness said: “I want Northumberland, Tyne and Wear to have a first-class public transport network in which women and all passengers feel safe to travel. These £ 800,000 are an essential first step towards that.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness. (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

“When people are on a bus or metro, they need to know that there is always help at hand. We want to give the reporting of anti-social behavior a complete overhaul and make it easier for local people to get the help they need when they need it.

“We also want to implement practical solutions like help points and improve lighting. We want to support all of this with education campaigns to raise awareness and promote support services that people can turn to.

And Council Chief Martin Gannon Gateshead and Chairman of the Region’s Joint Transport Committee added: “It is great to see this investment to make public transport safer in the region.

Head of the Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon at Pelaw Tube Station

“We recently set out a roadmap in the 2021 Northeast Transport Plan to build on the infrastructure in place to create a safer and more attractive transport network, which reflects many of the findings of the recent investigation.

“This is a big step towards making people feel safe on our streets so that walking and cycling are used more, which are the greenest and healthiest forms of travel, as well as the use of transport. in common in the region. “

The Home Office’s Safer Streets funding scheme spreads £ 25million among bidders across the country, but the funding is due to be spent by spring 2022.

Ms McGuinness added: “It’s great that we have this investment, but one-time funding pots are not going to make women safer. We need to make longer term changes, and that means longer term funding from government. “

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