New improvements to CCTV and lighting in Warrington Town Centre have been introduced as part of the #SaferStreetsWarrington campaign to tackle sexual violence and in particular violence against women and girls.
Following a survey conducted by Warrington Borough Council, residents highlighted that an uplift in the current CCTV and lighting systems would make them feel safer. As a result, over £30,000 has been spent implementing new CCTV systems, and £20,000 on uplifting and improving lighting in areas of concern.
The investment comes as part of the #SaferStreets campaign, delivered in partnership between Cheshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cheshire, Warrington Borough Council, businesses and schools, which aims to address and tackle problematic behaviours in and around the town centre.
Inspector Upile Mtitimila, Cheshire Police, Warrington Occupational Lead for Safer Streets 3 said: “The environment and how people feel in it can be key in relation to perceptions of safety and also opportunity for crime and anti-social behaviour. A survey completed by Warrington Borough Council on the safety of women in public spaces showed that lower levels of lighting and not knowing about CCTV could impact on how safe people feel.
“In addition to understanding this, the College of Policing Crime Reduction Toolkit shows that use of street lighting can effectively reduce crime, as can increasing CCTV. Not only is the investment supported by information from the survey, but there is a clear evidence base to support this being an effective investment which will benefit all users of the Town Centre space and is directly informed by the survey on the safety of women in public spaces.
“The collaboration between partners shows what can be achieved in terms of maximising the impact as we all look at our different areas of responsibility but unite to focus on violence against women and girls.”
Cabinet member for public health at Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “The survey the council launched last year to gather information about how we can make our streets safer showed that some people don’t feel comfortable walking around particular parts of Warrington, especially at night.
“Improving lighting and CCTV in key areas and routes into and out of the town centre, and looking at ways to connect these improvements with key transport locations, will provide practical help and support to ensure people feel safer when out and about in the town centre.
“Installing enhanced CCTV and lighting is a direct result of feedback we took on board from the survey. This work, alongside supporting vigilance in the town centre and tackling unacceptable behaviours linked to violence and harassment against women and girls, will help to ensure our town centre spaces are made safer.”
Ian Cox, Centre Director for Golden Square said; “Golden Square is such an integral part of Warrington Town Centre and the local community that it is vital we do everything we can to support initiatives like this. We work very closely with the local police to ensure we provide a safe and welcoming environment for our staff, retailers and customers, and will continue to look at how we can improve this going forward.”
For more information on #SaferStreetsWarrington, visit www.saferstreetswarrington.com