Safe Space Walks - Hampshire and Isle of Wight pilot new initiative to help tackle violence against women and girls
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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is piloting a new initiative in Basingstoke called ‘Safe Space’ that will see members of the community joining police officers on patrol to share their concerns about safety, as part of our commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.
The idea is that people from across Basingstoke will be able to walk through areas that may ordinarily feel unsafe with local neighbourhood policing officers and our partners, who all have a broad knowledge of the area, to discuss what can be done to alleviate their concerns, as well as hear their suggestions about how we can make them feel safer.
We want to learn about any reoccurring themes, areas of concern or safeguarding issues and what we can do, alongside our partners, to improve safety for women and girls in the wider Basingstoke area. The information provided during these conversations is vital in helping us achieve this.
Officers are fully briefed before-hand and urged to be open and discuss their own experiences.
The first walk took place on Thursday, 23 February with students from Basingstoke College of Technology and in the next couple of weeks students from Queen Mary’s College will be joining officers on our second walk.
Chief Inspector Scott Johnson; District Commander for Basingstoke said “No one – whether that be a woman, a man or a child – should ever have to walk around their local community in fear of being assaulted, harassed or be a victim of crime. They should feel comfortable, safe and protected within their communities. To feel anything less is not acceptable.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to tackling violence against women and girls, we are looking at ways we can improve safety in the Basingstoke area - for everyone. We want communities to regularly see and get to know their local officers, so that they have trust and confidence in them, and know they are there to protect them and keep them safe.
“That is why we have launched our Safe Space Walks. The local initiative gives everyone the opportunity to meet and talk to officers in a safe environment, and tell us what makes them feel unsafe and what could be done to make them feel safer.
“The information provided by those who join us on these walks will be a key factor in shaping our plans, together with partners, to make Basingstoke a safer place for all.”
In April we will be running three community walks for residents of Basingstoke and Deane to join us on.
These will take place at different times of the day and evening on Thursday, 20 April, Monday, 24 April and Wednesday, 26 April.
You will then be sent an email confirming the date and time to meet.
At the meeting point you will received a short briefing from a uniformed officer before setting off on your walk, there will be hot drinks and a chance to chat further with officers at the end of the event.