February 23, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Further grant funding for Falmouth to tackle violence against women and girls

Cornwall Council has been awarded a further £33,500 from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund to help tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Falmouth.

The funding is in addition to the £33,000 received following the Council’s successful application to the third round of the Fund in 2021. The funding will be used to build on the ongoing work to prevent VAWG crimes before they occur and increase feelings and perceptions of public safety in problem areas.

The additional funding will go towards:

  • Installing upgraded lighting in Falmouth’s Church Street car park
  • Developing and delivering ‘Safe Space’ pop-ups in Falmouth Town Centre
  • ‘Bystander’ training for bar and club staff, taxi drivers and Falmouth University students to give them the skills to improve the safety of women and girls
  • A communications campaign, co-designed and developed by Falmouth University Students, to promote behaviour change, encourage active bystander interventions and help tackle male violence against women and girls – including sexual abuse, harassment, stalking and online harm.

Falmouth and Penryn are home to around 11,000 students including many young women aged 16-24, more than any other area in Cornwall. The area also has a third more non-domestic VAWG crimes than the Cornwall average.

Louise Knight, Implementation Lead – Domestic Abuse, Cornwall Council said: “Young women should not feel threatened or intimidated when they go out at night.”

“When we spoke to students in Falmouth about this, there were three clear asks – social change, support and increased security. It is really exciting to now have this additional funding to support behaviour change training and communications, safe spaces for women and girls, and more street lighting where it’s needed most.”

“The guidance for bidders for the third round of Safer Streets funding encouraged innovative and inventive proposals, and Safer Cornwall is thrilled to have this chance to think creatively around tackling VAWG, and to work with world-leading Falmouth University in this space.”

Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University Lucy Cokes said: “This issue is something our students feel strongly about.  Our Creative Advertising students are studying ‘Behaviour Change for Good’ this semester and we are excited to be working on this live brief from Cornwall Council.  The students will be using behavioural science theories to ensure that their ideas will really make an impact, and I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with and seeing the campaign go live locally.”

 The original funding was used to put in place six new CCTV cameras in Falmouth town centre as well as support a student led VAWG group to run awareness campaigns or projects.  It also funded bystander training for staff employed in the night-time economy as part of Safer Cornwall’s support for 16 Days of Activism to help tackle violence against women and girls.

Insp. Andy Shorten, Police Neighbourhood Inspector for Falmouth Sector said: “Violence Against Women and Girls represent highly impactive crimes which have no place in our community. We are committed to prevention as well as the pursuit of those responsible. I welcome this news and we are looking forward to working with partners to implement the proposed projects, as we strive keep women and girls safe and bring perpetrators to justice.”

Carol Mould, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, said:  “Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business.”  

“This additional funding will help give us the tools to not only recognise what is going on but feel able to do something about it. I look forward to continuing the work with our partners to ensure that this investment creates a lasting legacy and helps increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in our public spaces.”

Story posted 19 January 2022

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