Agenda item

Woman's Safety Group Update


Safe Havens -


  • There are 30 trained and registered Safe Haven’s across the borough. This is due to increase with Studio3Arts providing a second round of training for interested venues.
  • A dedicated website to provide a link for businesses to sign-up, online training package and map showing locations of Safe Havens has been developed:
  • A photo op with trained Safe Havens took place on the 6th March 2023 and this has been used as a part of the comms campaign launching the Safe Haven scheme.


Personal Safety Alarm –


  • To date 142 personal safety alarms have been collected as of the end of February 2023 by council staff to combat fears of unsafety around London Road car park.


Community Voluntary Sector –


  • Applications for the CVS grant fund closed on the 20th February 2023, whereby one pot of £20,000 was awarded to Studio3Arts for the delivery of educational and trauma-informed safety sessions.
  • These sessions will inform and empower residents on how to stay safe by simplifying statutory organisation information into bite-sized knowledge that is accessible to all residents.


Womens Safety Data –


  • Every quarter, the Womens Safety Group is delivered a summary of data of Violence Against Women and Girls crimes.
  • 326 domestic abuse offences & 62 sexual offences in January 2023 in Barking and Dagenham.
  •  According to Home Office figures (12 months to September) there has been an increase in controlling & coercive behaviour, stalking and modern slavery and a decrease in harassment and malicious communications.


Communication Safety Enforcement –


  • Community Safety currently have static security presence outside Barking station and this will be replaced by patrols/ pulse patrols in coordination with police when further Community Safety officers are recruited.
  • There were 10 joint patrols in November 2022, 6 in Barking Town Centre and 4 in Dagenham Heathway
  • So far identified two additional locations for public space CCTV and continue to assess Barking town centre (including recommendations from EVA) for re purposing/ extra public space surveillance.
  • CCTV is receiving further investment and part of this will be focused on Barking town centre including new wireless CCTV. 


Comms –


  • Comms completed a first round of women's safety comms campaign to include advice and top tips for staying safe (20.01.2023), as well as directing comms towards perpetrators too. A second round of comms is due to go out.
  • Womens Safety Online Meeting with residents took place on 21st February 6-7pm – with over 40 residents having attended as well as staff
  • The Safe Haven Scheme was officially launched at the Womens Safety Online Meeting as well as the council and police showcasing the work they are producing to tackle violence against women and girls.
  • General comms through social media will continue as normal.


David Lingard expanded that there is a new Community safety enforcement team of 10 officers at covering shifts so at anyone time there could be 2 in terms of joint patrolling. The SNT team, the neighbourhood teams are doing an absolutely excellent job of embracing partnership working.


Cllr Worby noted that one of the commitments we gave at that women's safety online meeting was that we would set up a regular forum. It was agreed that the forum would mean quarterly  to  give women the opportunity to come forward and talk about safety and initiatives we're doing. It was also agreed to set up this forum in a hybrid setting.


April Bald commented that the Make Safe operation that police undertake with hotels within the borough whereby hotels are to identify exploitative situations, particularly in regards to women. It would be useful to link up with Tony Cox in order to make sure that this training is done in all hotels across the borough. There is also a young womens worker in in the Youth Offending Service who works with a small number of young women but it would be useful to have their voices embedded into the Womens Safety Action Plan.


Cllr Ghani explained that the boroughs new Superintendent will work together with David Lingard to tackle issues of safety amongst women and girls and the community as a whole especially in the Barking Town Centre area. Cllr Ghani questioned David Lingard on how many hours a week had been agreed by the Town Centre Team to patrol Barking Town Centre.


David Lingard answered that the Town Centre Team were only accommodating 2 hours a week in Barking Town Centre and expressed that this was not a sufficient number of hours a week to be patrolling the town centre and would not make women and girls commuting or living in the area feel safe.


David Rhodes assured David Lingard and Cllr Ghani that he has heard the feedback regarding the lacklustre number of hours the Town Centre Team are offering and that this issue is on his radar and will be a part of the priority going forward. 


ACTION – CSP to provide update on progression of Womens Safety Forum at June 2023 CSP.