PCC responds to launch of online tool for women & girls to flag unsafe areas


Merseyside's Police Commissioner has cautiously welcomed the launch of the Government's new online tool 'StreetSafe' today.

Emily Spurrell has highlighted that there are still uncertainties about how ministers expect the police and community safety partners to respond and no additional funding is being provided to help organisations to address the issues raised.

The tool will be hosted on the national policing website police.uk and enables members of the public to anonymously drop a pin onto a map in areas where they don’t feel safe, regardless of whether or not a crime has taken place.

It allows them to highlight factors that cause them concern and could range from a poorly-lit pathway to instances of public harassment.

The data will then be used alongside other key data from policing, in partnership with stakeholders, to improve safety for communities and introduce new measures, such as night-time patrols or by installing better street lighting and CCTV.

The pilot will run for three months, as part of a series of measured being introduced by the Government to tackle violence against women and girls.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “There is currently a clear gap in understanding about where and why women don’t feel safe and the factors that cause them most concern.

“I welcome any initiative which looks to address this issue and which provides better community intelligence about how we can improve women’s feelings of safety.

“It is yet to be seen though exactly how the Government are expecting the police and our community safety partners to respond to the additional data provided through the new StreetSafe tool and, crucially, what, if any, funding will be provided to address the issues raised by women.

“Alongside many others, I will be reviewing the StreetSafe tool closely in the coming weeks.

I am also in the process of analysing more than 26,000 answers to my own Safer Streets Merseyside survey, which more than 1,5000 women and girls responded to, telling me about their feelings of safety here in Merseyside to see what more can be done locally.

“I will also continue to push for public sexual harassment to be made a criminal offence, ensuring the police have the right tools to take action.