We're working to keep our streets safe

We're working to keep our streets safe

We're working to keep our streets safe

 Published: 16-Mar-2021

With the Reclaim These Streets movement working to raise the issue of the safety of women following the disappearance and alleged murder of Sarah Everard, we would like to highlight the work we are doing along with partner organisations to do all we can to make the Borough a safe place for all.

“The Sarah Everard case has been deeply disturbing for everyone, but of course mostly so for women who know how it is to feel unsafe and insecure on our streets, particularly after dark,” said Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, Gravesham Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure.

“Our thoughts are with Sarah’s family and friends at this time, as well as with anyone affected by the case or similar incidents.

“Nobody should live in fear of going out after a certain time, or be afraid to walk home alone from an evening out and we are determined to do all we can to make the streets of the Borough safe and secure.

“One of our key priorities is to deliver services to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, to create local neighbourhoods in which people can live and socialise safely. We work closely with our communities, Kent Police, housing providers, the voluntary and private sectors, and other agencies to make Gravesham a safe place to live, work and enjoy.”

The council supports domestic abuse services such as the charity Choices and the Citizens Advice Bureau, and has promoted their work and how to contact them on its fleet of household waste collection vehicles, ensuring their message is seen across the Borough. We have provided additional funding to Choices during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We also led the Altogether Safer – Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls Project, which was funded through the Home Office for three years to the end of March 2020. The project provided support to 269 adult female victims and 349 children through a police station-based Independent Domestic Violence (IDVA) service.

The Choose Respect Programme funded through the project was delivered by Choices and supported a total of 204 boys and young men with 12-week courses and one-to-one work to break the cycle of aggressive behaviour.

Despite the Home Office funding having ended, some of this work is continuing.

We completed a review of all council-owned public space CCTV cameras in 2019 and have upgraded eight of our key town centre CCTV cameras and invested in additional CCTV in the Riverside Leisure Area.

Our planners work with the police to design out crime from new developments and work with private developers to ensure they do the same.

Members and staff are trained to spot the signs that individuals are at risk, and how to report and deal with those welfare concerns. A wide range of support services and resources are available to staff to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing.

Cllr Mochrie-Cox added: “We also have in place strategies to help us counter anti-social behaviour, including making it easy for residents to report ASB, and measures to prevent it in the first place. This week, members of my cabinet committee will be examining our draft Community Safety Strategy which among other measures covers support for victims of domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people.

“We have every sympathy for the calls from Reclaim These Streets to make our communities safer for women, and indeed anyone and everyone who feels in even the slightest way vulnerable.

“We will continue to work with our partners from across the public, private and charitable sectors to ensure Gravesham is as safe as it can be.”

Details of all the council’s community safety work and initiatives can be found at https://www.gravesham.gov.uk/home/community-and-leisure/safety-and-crime/

 Last updated: 09-Apr-2021

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