Streets of Milton Keynes to be made safer places for women and girls to walk alone

More CCTV and lighting is to installed on streets and underpasses in a bid to make them safer for females.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 25th July 2022, 1:40 pm

MK Council and its partners in the Safer MK Partnership have secured almost £750k of national funding towards a Safer Streets initiative targeted specifically at women and girls.

They worked alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner and Thames Valley Police to determine what was needed.

The project will see upgrades to popular pedestrian routes, running from Xscape through to The Theatre District and down to the central train station.

The lighting on some underpasses in Milton Keynes will be improved

It also covers parts of Campbell Park, Conniburrow, Bradwell, and Loughton.

As well as the extra CCTV cameras and underpass lighting, the project will enhance the provision at the MK Safehub in Xscape to help more women if they feel unsafe.

There will also be a campaign that asks men to call out “inexcusable behaviour” among their peers to address unwanted sexual and violent behaviour.

Training to spot the signs of thiswill be available for staff at local venues, as well as for bus and taxi drivers.

National crime figures for the 12 month period ending in September 2021 show that sexual offences recorded by the police were the highest on record, with 170,973 offences across the UK.

This is a 12% increase from the same period in 2020.

Cabinet member for Public Realm, Cllr Lauren Townsend, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and for too long many women haven’t.

"We hope these improved measures will make routes safer and give increased confidence to women who rightly want to feel comfortable on a night out or when they’re walking home from work.

"My thanks go out to staff at the council and its partners for putting together this successful bid.”

The government launched the Safety of Women at Night Fund last year with £5 million up for grabs for projects to improve the safety of women and girls at night.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said at the time: “Violence against women and girls in our country’s nightlife is still an awful reality for many, and horrific crimes such as sexual assault have devastating consequences.”