Residents in Wiltshire and Swindon are being asked to have their say on what would make them feel safer at night in public spaces.
The survey, launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner, in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, and councillors will help shape a charter with the aim of making public spaces safer for all at night.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson said: “Only by working with residents and late-night establishments will we be able to effectively make public spaces at night safer for all and that’s why it’s so important for us to understand what practical steps we can take as a collective.
“It’s important that this charter is fit for purpose and encompasses all those who use public spaces at night, be it those who socialise in bars, pubs, and clubs or perhaps work in the late-night economy, travel home from work, exercise, travel home from visiting friends and family and all the other reasons in between.”
The Safer Nights Charter is inspired by the pledges created for the Mayor of London’s Women’s Night Safety Charter, launched in 2018, and one recently launched in Exeter. Whilst Wiltshire and Swindon’s Charter will have elements focused on reducing violence against women and girls, it is inclusive of all those who use public spaces at night.
Organisations that operate in the late-night economy, such as bars, pubs, clubs, taxis and the many others will be encouraged to voluntarily sign up to the charter with the aim of working together to make a positive, proactive change.
Cllr Peter Hutton, Wiltshire Council Portfolio Holder for Safeguarding, said: “Everyone wants to feel as safe as possible when they’re out and about at night – whether that’s enjoying the night-time economy, working a late shift or just travelling.
“This survey will provide valuable insight on what works well and what could maybe be done differently to ensure that Wiltshire at night is a safe, enjoyable and welcoming place to be for residents and businesses alike.
“I’d encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the survey as their feedback and experiences will be extremely valuable as we work together and plan the way forward.”
Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Health Inequalities and Housing, said: “In order to make Swindon’s streets safer for the public, we have to hear from the public themselves, to understand what they think would make the biggest difference when it comes to making them feel safe at night.
“Through this survey, we can gather the views of people across the Borough, to help us identify the measures that will most effectively make our town a safer place to live and work. Most of us will spend time out in Swindon at night, so I’d encourage as many people as possible to share their views through the survey.”
The survey, which takes 2 minutes to complete, runs from Tuesday 21st June for four weeks until Tuesday 19 July, to take part please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KKVJ8FB.