CARDIFF Community Safety Partnership has been awarded £750,000 of Home Office funding to deliver a series of initiatives primarily aimed at keeping women safe in the city centre and some residential areas of Cathays.

The partnership, made up of organisations including Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and other key statutory and third sector partners, came together to develop a bid which builds on existing initiatives and delivers new approaches to address women’s safety, neighbourhood crime and anti-social behaviour.

Among the initiatives to be funded through the successful bid are:

Expanding the South Wales Police Safety Bus project supporting vulnerable people in the night-time economy;

Street Help points – intercoms at three key locations providing residents who feel threatened or unsafe direct access to the police and emergency workers;

New street-based CCTV cameras in city locations, including Bute Park;

Updated lighting in targeted underpasses; and

Supporting the delivery of a Cardiff Women’s Safety Charter and expanding the number of ‘Safe Places’ in the city where people can seek help and refuge if they feel threatened or intimidated.

Cllr Lynda Thorne, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said she was delighted that Cardiff’s bid for the latest round of Safer Streets funding had been successful.

“This achievement has been down to the bid development group – key people from council agencies, the police, British Transport Police, FOR Cardiff [group representing 750 city businesses] and Cardiff’s Third Sector Council, made up of charities and volunteer groups.

“Together, they elected to focus on women’s safety and anti-social behaviour issues in the night-time economy and routes home. Links were then made with Cardiff Women’s Aid, our universities and other groups with strong links to the community.

“Through all these initiatives, some new and some already in progress, we aim to make Cardiff one of the safest cities in the UK for people in which to socialise, work and travel around without feeling threatened or harassed.”

South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said:

““I am extremely pleased that we have been successful in our latest bid to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund; the allocation of £749,652 is an endorsement of our approach to partnership working here in South Wales.  We have worked closely with the council and other partners to identify in detail the drivers of local problems and how best we can tackle them together.

“This money will be invested in making the streets of Cardiff safer for women and girls, as well as reducing the impact of anti-social behaviour across our communities. Preventing violence against women and girls has always been a specific priority for me as Commissioner and while we have done a lot to tackle the issue in South Wales, it remains one of the biggest problems we face and we must always strive to do more if we are to reduce significantly the intimidation and harassment experienced by women and girls across our communities.

“Working in partnership our focus is both on immediate benefits from practical measures like CCTV and physical improvements to the environment and to achieve sustainable long-term improvements to create safe, confident and resilient communities. It is a simple fact that when we work together we achieve more than we achieve alone.”

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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