Council to educate kids to improve women's safety

A Weston charity as been awarded funding by the North Somerset Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to dist

North Somerset Council says it will spend a Government grant by educating children on healthy relationships to help make women safer. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset Council has received funding to kickstart its women's safety task force which was drawn up in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard.

Home Secretary Priti Patel launched an inquiry into policing standards following the trial of former Met police officer, Wayne Couzens, who was given a lifelong sentence for the murder of Ms Everard after kidnapping her under the guise of a police arrest.

The council's executive for safer communities in North Somerset, Cllr Mike Solomon, confirmed to the Mercury and Times that it had been successful with a joint bid with Somerset County Council to improve street safety.

North Somerset Council to teach boys to make women safer

Similar workshops have been held for young people by the Violence Reduction Units in North Somerset. - Credit: North Somerset Council

Cllr Solomon said: "We have just been awarded a £300,000 bid to make places safer in North Somerset - particularly for women.

"We are very keen to work forward with Somerset Council to make our neighbourhoods safer.

"I intend to make it open to the public on how we spend this money and the council will continue to bid for grants to further improve safety measures when they present themselves."

MORE: Council to take women's advice on 'millennium-old' safety concerns

The council's Safer Communities Project Coordinator, Hannah Gray, revealed to the Mercury that the council intends to spend its recently won grant creatively compared to previous deterrents.

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She said: "There is so much work being done by the council to ensure every man, woman and child is being kept safe.

"Recently, there have been a number of high profile cases of women being murdered by men and other gendered crimes so with this funding there will be a heavy focus on girls, though all will benefit.

"The money will be spent on innovative work, not just physical deterrents such as street lighting or CCTV cameras.

"We plan to introduce measures such as teaching healthy relationships in schools and speaking to young men about attitudes to how they think and feel as well as designating more public areas as safe spaces."

North Somerset Council handed £300,000 grant by Government to improve safety.

Hannah Gray told the Mercury that the funds will be "spent on innovative work, not just physical deterrents such as street lighting or CCTV cameras." - Credit: Hannah Gray

More information on how the council will spend its share of the £300,000 grant will be released in the coming months.

To access some of the support networks already available in the area, contact the following services.

Rape and sexual abuse support - SARSAS on 08088 010456

Male victims of domestic abuse - Mankind Initiative on 01823 334244

Domestic or sexual abuse in North Somerset - Next Link on 08004 700280

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