Safety schemes set to make an impact across Wigan Borough

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A range of projects aimed at promoting personal safety are to be rolled out across some of Wigan Borough’s most popular nightspots.

As part of the Safety of Women at Night initiative, the local authority will be working with bars, clubs, restaurants and taxi companies to raise awareness and raise safety and security standards.

Training schemes, engagement workshops and pop-up safe spaces in district centres are also part of the wide-ranging plans.

Wigan Council has received more than £273k from the Home Office for the projects to be delivered by the Wigan Borough Place and Community Safety Partnership.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “The activity we have planned is providing a great opportunity to make a real difference and promote behaviour change.

“We all have a role to play when it comes to ensuring women and girls feel safer on the streets of our borough.

“These projects will help to promote safety for everyone with a particular focus on tackling violence against women and girls.”

The plans include a return for the St John’s Ambulance led Safety Havens (a highly visible safe place, providing reassuring presence) in key locations at weekends and safety marshals will be in operation.

Training will also be provided for night-time economy staff to identify issues and provide adequate support for anyone who may need it.

The council will also be promoting the Ask For Angela initiative, which is already in place in towns and cities across the UK.

Anyone who feels unsafe or vulnerable can approach staff at licenced premises and ask for Angela, with training provided for employees on how to provide support.

Engagement and education programmes will be held at schools and colleges across the borough and the Wigle Dance group will be holding workshops to share the key messages of the projects.

Officers will also support with the LSAVI (Licensing, security and vulnerability initiative) that will help licenced premises, working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police.

Councillor Paul Kenny, lead cabinet member for district centres and night-time economy, said: “Clearly there will be a lot of concentrated activity over the next two months but our focus will not stop there.

“It is a key part of our Deal 2030 plan that we want to ensure Wigan Borough is a safe place to live and work for us all.

“These projects will help inform our future local initiatives and will also support the Greater Manchester #IsThisOk campaign, as part of the Gender-Based Violence Strategy.”

Further details of the district centre engagement and events will be provided in due course.