More funding for Safer Streets in Weymouth

Initiatives to protect women and girls from violence will continue to operate after almost £250,000 of funding has been secured.

Safer Streets will see more CCTV cameras installed to get greater street coverage, a

Scene of Weymouth town and beach with the pier and church spire. safe space will continue to operate as a sanctuary for women and girls, and more work to prevent and support women who have been subjected to stalking and harassment. The money will help improve the safety of Weymouth throughout the day and at night out.

The successful bid of £246,976 was submitted by Dorset Council to the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.

The council’s Community and Public Protection service works with Weymouth Town Council, Dorset Police, Weymouth Street Pastors and St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Street, which is used as a haven for medical, and other support services, for vulnerable women and girls. The church location also provides services to help in the event of illness or injury, alcohol or drug misuse, victim of crime, becoming separated from friends or emotional distress.

Paragon’s Stalking Clinic will also benefit from the funds providing an administrator who will respond to all enquiries and referrals from victims of stalking, and a colleague who will deliver new stalking awareness training. Paragon is commissioned by the council to provide domestic abuse services for women, men and children.

In addition, the CCTV cameras in areas of previous poor coverage will improve perceived levels of safety which can affect women and girls’ feelings of safety  and wellbeing whether they are alone, or with others, in the day or at night.

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety, said: “The council is committed to helping tackle crime and make the council area one of the safest in the country. This  funding will make Weymouth safer for women and girls in the daytime but also the night-time economy.

“The additional CCTV will mean previously uncovered areas will become revealed so people can be reassured there are eyes on lots of places.  The excellent work of all our partners at St Mary’s Church can provide a moment, or more, of sanctuary on a night out.”

Councillor Molly Rennie, member champion for domestic abuse, said: “There are several factors which can make women and girls feel unsafe, or actually threaten their physical and mental wellbeing.

“The work taking place through Safer Streets, and this funding, is to address some of those factors and help women and girls feel and be safer in our communities. “I would also like to remind everyone their behaviours can make women and girls feel unsafe or threaten their physical and mental wellbeing.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “I am delighted with the outcome and my office and I fully support Dorset Council’s successful bid for Safer Streets funding. The funding will ensure that women and girls continue to have a safe space within Weymouth town centre as well as see an increase CCTV and victim’s support. The safe streets funding will help women and girls to feel safer in our communities and prevent crimes from occurring.”

Tonia Redvers, Operations Director at YOU, and oversees Paragon, said: “This award is wonderful, we are thrilled to be able to offer our excellent Dragonfly workshops to better support victims of stalking and raise awareness of the different types of stalking. These workshops are free to attend and are for everyone, we will soon share the details of how people can access them.

“The Stalking Clinic is an excellent example of real multi agency working, and, along with our colleagues in the police, probation and mental health teams, we are so pleased to be able to continue to make a difference.”



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