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Safe space scheme expands to city’s streets


Mobile “Safe Space” placed in Nottingham city centre to help ensure more women and girls can feel safe on a night out in Nottingham.

Posted: Feb 2023

A Nottingham City Council Community Protection van regularly parks on Derby Road, one of the city’s busiest roads, during the night-time economy, to offer a haven of safety for anyone in distress.

It builds on the success of the city’s Safe Space Pledge – developed by It's in Nottingham and the Consent Coalition - which enlists the support of Nottingham venues to commit to eight clear actions to help keep women and girls safe in their premises.

The van brings the campaign to the city’s streets and has been wrapped in the Safe Space livery to make it clearly identifiable. It is staffed by uniformed Community Protection officers to give a reassuring presence.

Two fire engines have also been wrapped in the Safe Space livery to help spread the message and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Fire Service said firefighters are often in the city centre at night and are always on hand to help vulnerable people.

Craig Parkin, Chief Fire Officer of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Violence against women and girls has no place in our society and we are standing together with our partners to support the Safe Space pledge, with artwork on the side of two fire engines and a commitment to supporting the pledge's work.
“Our firefighters are often in Nottingham city centre at night after responding to calls or through other Prevention and Protection work so I would encourage anyone who is vulnerable to come and speak to us.”

Funding for the project has come from the Home Office’s Safer Streets scheme after Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry was successful in securing £3 million for projects to tackle neighbourhood crime and antisocial behaviour and violence against women and girls across Nottinghamshire.

“The Safe Space Pledge is a fantastic scheme, which makes the safety of women and girls a high priority in Nottingham. The initiative provides bespoke training for night-time economy staff, enabling them to have the skills to intervene and challenge perpetrators safely, whilst having the confidence to support vulnerable people,” said Commissioner Henry.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe. We know that women and girls can often feel more vulnerable than men in public and I hope this scheme plays a big part in making Nottingham a place where everyone can have a safe and enjoyable night out.”
Councillor Neghat Khan, portfolio holder for neighbourh­oods and safety, said: “The Safe Space Pledge is about women and girls in our city not only being safe, but feeling safe. That’s why the presence of these branded vehicles in and around the city is important – they raise awareness of the support available and provide a van staffed by our Community Protection officers to offer a safe haven or a chance to talk or seek advice for anyone who needs it.”

The Safe Space Pledge launched in March 2022 and for the first time in the UK a city has included a pledge to protect women and girls as part of the Best Bar None accreditation scheme – a nationwide initiative that aims to recognise and reward responsible night-time economy premises.

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