Funding bid to make public transport safer is announced

PCC Kim McGuinness at Gateshead Interchange with council leaders and transport chiefs
2 August 2021

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has submitted a bid to the Government’s Safer Streets fund, which includes measures to tackle crime on public transport networks.

Based on the findings of her recent survey, the commissioner has come together with local authority leaders and transport partners to draw up a range of solutions to address the fears and concerns shared by local people.

These include a new reporting app to transform the reporting process, body-worn cameras for transport staff and Help Points in parks linked directly to CCTV control rooms.

This round of the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund focuses on violence against women and girls (VAWG) and putting practical measures in place to make them feel safer in public spaces. It was launched in March as a response to the death of Sarah Everard in London.

Findings of the survey in Northumbria showed that people feel most safe in their neighbourhood during the day, and least safe in their nearest park, which was the same at night. Overall responses for Northumbria revealed that during the day time, 47 per cent felt ‘safe or very safe’ on public transport, compared to only 14 per cent at night.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We’ve come up with a range of measures that we believe rethink public safety. People have told us what would make them feel so much safer and we want to make these things possible.” 

She continued: “There are various parts to the strategy. We want to give the reporting of ASB a complete overhaul and make it so much easier for local people to get the help they need when they need it. We also want to implement practical solutions like help points and improve lighting. We want to support all this with educational campaigns to raise awareness and promote the support services that people can turn to.

“I’ve sent the findings of the survey in my bid with a very clear message that Government must back these concerns with funds that allow us to do something about them. We are still one of the safest regions, thankfully, but we’re clearly not safe enough and things need to change. We’re bringing real solutions to the table that will make our region safer for everyone. All we need now is the green light for Government funding for our region.”

Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “We have worked in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner to build this bid. It is vital customers feel safe on public transport at all times and we look forward to working with Kim McGuinness and our police force on this important project.

“Crime rates on the Tyne and Wear Metro are low for a network of its size, but we will never stop working to build customer confidence and deal with anti-social behaviour. 

“Nexus has already invested in new CCTV and body worn cameras, and we are committed to increasing the visibility of customer support staff on to the network later this year. The Safer Streets funding bid will really help us to build on this work and we fully support it.”

Videos

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness

Nexus Chief Operating Officer Martin Kearney welcomes Safer Streets funding bid

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