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Commissioner Secures Safety of Women at Night Funding for Carlisle

The Home Office has today announced that Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall has recently secured £116,367 from the Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) Fund to help support and prevent violence against women and girls in the night-time economy in the Carlisle area.

July 2021 figures provided by the Licensing Committee for Carlisle, indicate that the city has 434 premises with a license to sell alcohol and according to the Crime and Community Safety Strategic Assessment for Cumbria (2019-20) 28.5% of all Cumbria’s violence against the person offences are in the Carlisle district, and that 25% are alcohol-related violence against another person.

Peter McCall comments: “This timely award from the Safety of Women at Night Fund is most welcomed and anything that improves understanding and outlines the clear facts around consent, inappropriate sexual behaviour and fears that affect females daily, can only be a good thing.

“The funding will enable various stakeholders such as the Constabulary’s Citizens in Policing team, Cumbria University, Crimestoppers, colleges and schools in the Carlisle area, to all work together and help everyone, especially women and girls, feel safe in the evenings when out and about in the county’s city.

“The Safety of Women at Night fund will work with projects such as developing a team of Street Marshals who will operate in harmony with existing Street Pastors, and help steward the area, providing support to people and help prevent problems from escalating, allowing the police to focus on higher level incidents.

“This service will be available to all in need, though research suggests that women and protected groups are more likely to require our help.

“The Constabulary will also be working with the University of Cumbria to develop a production to be delivered by university students in secondary schools in the Carlisle area, and also with Crimestoppers in a widespread campaign highlighting unwanted attention, sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour in the night-time economy.”

Chief Superintendent Lisa Hogan said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for us all, which is why this funding, aimed at improving women’s safety at night, is so welcome.

“The funding will be put to good use, including help tackling crime, helping to educate young people and offering practical assistance on the streets to help keep people safe.

“We as police officers, are committed to doing everything we can to make our streets safer. Everyone has a right to go about their lives without being made to feel scared or intimidated.”

Safer Streets Coordinator, Alison Blenkharn comments: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding and are looking forward to making a real difference on the streets of Carlisle, helping to keep women and girls safe.

“One of the exciting elements of the project is working with the University and their students to create a production that will be rolled out in local schools, with key messages such as what is appropriate or inappropriate behaviour, what is consent, and what to do if something goes wrong.”

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