UON Security team support women and girls across the county to feel safe

Date 9.12.2021

The Security and Community Safety Team at the University of Northampton is part of a county-wide effort to make the streets safer for women and girls.

Over the last 18 months, The Community Safety Partnership, which is made up of representatives from the University’s Estates and Campus Services team, West Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Police, and the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, has received £813,000 Home Office funding to support practical crime prevention measures to tackle violence against women and girls across the County.

The Home Office funding aims to give local areas additional support to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) and increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in public spaces, build the evidence base for what works on reducing VAWG crimes and increasing feelings of safety in the public domain, improve both the national and local data picture regarding VAWG crimes in public spaces, which could include increased reporting for some crime types and to take steps to make public spaces safer for all.

The funding will be targeted towards projects to prevent violence in the night-time economy and include measures to target the perpetrators of harassment or violence directed at women.

A substantial chunk of that funding has been allocated to the University, so that they can implement some of their initiatives that helped form the bid.

The University has directly received around £200, 000 to support our students to feel safe in the community around the campus. From now, until Spring 2022, the University, and partners will roll out several additional and improved safety measures.

Laura McSherry, Security and Community Safety Manager at the University said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve been part of the Northamptonshire effort to tackle violence against women and girls. This funding will support vital improvements and initiatives to work towards making Northamptonshire a safer place for our students and staff to live and study, as well as supporting the communities around our campus to feel safe.”

UON Security and Safety projects on the horizon include:

  • Personal safety and active-bystander training sessions for staff and students in partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
  • Behaviour awareness training, in partnership with the Students’ Union for sports and societies members.
  • Students Safety packs, which will be available from January, with personal safety tools and awareness information.
  • Upgrades and enhancements to safety measures on campus, including the Chaperone Service, security infrastructure, Safe Zone App, and much more
  • A student drama piece raising awareness of women’s safety issues, written and performed by UON staff and students.
  • The Safer Routes Home project, which creates a well-lit, and CCTV-covered route to and from the town, passing through our campus, will be expanded and enhanced, based on the routes our students tell us they use. As well as additional signposting along the route to help people walk safely around the campus.
  • Upgrade of our radio communications system for the Campus Security Team.