King's Lynn police patrols tackle violence against women and girls this winter with Street Safe campaign
Tackling violence against women and girls is a high priority for Norfolk Police this winter.
Targeted patrols are part of an approach called Street Safe, introduced by the Home Office last year to enable people to anonymously flag areas on a map where someone may feel unsafe, regardless of whether a crime has taken place.
The regular police patrols, which started this month, are to continue throughout the winter, and aim to provide reassurance to the community, focussing on areas where people have highlighted feeling unsafe.
Officers will patrol in pairs and target key urban areas where more offences are likely to take place in Lynn, speaking to members of the public and highlighting where they can get help and support.
Superintendent Sonia Humphreys said: “Community reassurance, ensuring we have safer spaces across the county and the safety of women and girls are high on our list of priorities.
“Our teams of officers will be focusing on key areas and the night-time economy throughout the winter period when the days are drawing in and people are enjoying festivities.
“This is about creating safer spaces across our community, working with the public to understand where they feel unsafe and what we, and partners, could be doing to address those issues.”
As part of the campaign, officers will be giving out wallet cards signposting StreetSafe.
The cards will also reflect the values of the Enough campaign, launched both nationally and locally earlier this year, to target attitudes around violence against women and girls, covering street harassment to inappropriate touching and catcalling.
The cards, which can easily be put in a pocket or mobile phone wallet, outline small acts which everybody can employ to help make inappropriate behaviour unacceptable in West Norfolk.
This is an active bystander approach and has been well-researched as helping to change attitudes in society in general and hold perpetrators to account. StreetSafe found verbal harassment and being followed were among the concerns highlighted.
A spokesperson from Pandora Project, a charity which supports women and children who gave experienced domestic abuse said: "We are pleased that police are involved in and promoting the Street Safe campaign in Lynn and we look forward to seeing increased police patrols in areas that women have felt unsafe.
"The Christmas period can put a lot of strain on families, with extra pressure on finances, increased alcohol consumption and spending more time together.
"There will be women in West Norfolk over Christmas who are facing the daily task of trying to stay safe at the hands of an abusive partner.
"I would urge anyone in that position to reach out to us for support."