Night-time police patrols around public transport network boosted by Safer Streets Liverpool campaign09.11.22 - Merseyside
Passengers are set to see an increased uniformed police presence around transport hubs and on key bus routes as part of the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign focused on keeping women safe.
Additional high visibility police patrols will run at peak teams to proactively prevent sexual violence and provide reassurance to women travelling at night, particularly along the main student bus routes into and out of Liverpool city centre.
Extensive consultation was carried out to inform the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign, with women and girls particularly requesting safer transport routes and buses, with feedback revealing that an increased uniformed presence would be the biggest factor in making them feel safer. Students also specifically asked for the 699 bus route to be a focus.
Officers will deter offenders by challenging behaviour that makes women feel uncomfortable and engage with anyone who appears vulnerable, providing support and advice and ensuring they stay safe.
The surge of activity will begin this weekend (Friday 11th November), as the region marks North West Sexual Violence Awareness Week and will run across the festive period and into the new year.
Extra patrols will also take place in transport hubs and on key roads where students and young people get off to head to bars and clubs, providing further visibility and reassurance.
Safer Streets Liverpool is a joint campaign between Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and Liverpool City Council, launched initially with £270,000 of funding secured from the Home Office in 2021 and now being expanded after a further successful bid of £567,000 in July.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe when travelling on the public transport network at night, but sadly we know from my consultation that it is actually where many women and girls feel most unsafe.
“An increased uniformed police presence was the main way women told us we could address those fears and provide reassurance, so that is exactly what we are putting in place.
“By increasing high visibility patrols, we want to ensure all women and girls feel safe and are safe using our region’s buses and trains, while also making it absolutely clear to would-be perpetrators that there is absolutely No Excuse for sexual violence.
“I would urge anyone who feels unsafe or wants to report an incident to reach out to these officers. Alternatively, anyone sees or experiences unwanted attention or sexual harassment while travelling by bus can report it discreetly and safely by texting SAFER to 65007.”
Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a huge priority for me and I am delighted to see these additional measures being introduced.
“We have already had success tackling offences due to the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign, and this new scheme will provide a reassuring presence to students and other women on the way home.
“It is vital that we don’t just challenge behaviour but also seek to change it, which is why the education element is so important.”
Merseyside Police Lead for VAWG, Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine said: “We continue to come together with our partners to actively address some of the fears being raised by women and girls, who should be able to enjoy a night out safely and without fear. We are responding to their concerns around travelling on our transport network and hope that the presence of uniformed officers on key routes provides reassurance.
“Dedicated officers will also be tasked with identifying potential perpetrators on our transport network who are displaying signs of predatory behaviour and to disrupt those who present a potential risk. They will also ensure that safeguarding concerns are met for anyone who appears vulnerable.
“The introduction of the patrols demonstrates how, as a partnership, we are addressing the fears of women and girls to ultimately make our streets safer.”
For more information about the campaign please visit https://sexualviolencesupport.co.uk/safer-streets-liverpool/
To report an incident of sexual violence, call Merseyside Police on 101, or on social media at @MerPolCC. Alternatively, you can report unwanted attention or sexual on the bus network to the TravelSafe Partnership by texting SAFER to 65007, providing details of the incident including the date, time, location and route number, if it’s known.
Take a look at this short video to find out more