To "help women feel safer in the night-time economy", the Government will roll-out pilots of ‘Project Vigilant’ across the country. This approach has already be taken by Thames Valley Police where both uniformed and plain clothes officers identify predatory and suspicious offenders bars and clubs.
This can involve officers attending areas around clubs and bars undercover, and increased patrols as people leave at closing time.
The Government says steps are being taken in response to the outpouring of experiences and concerns following the murder of Sarah Everard.
In what it says are immediate steps to provide further reassurance for women, the Government is also doubling the size of the Safer Streets fund, which provides neighbourhood measures such as better lighting and CCTV to £45m.
This could include targeting parks and alleyways, and routes from bars, restaurants and nightclubs, in line with the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions.
“The horrific case of Sarah Everard has unleashed a wave of feeling about women not feeling safe at night,” says Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We must do everything we can to ensure our streets are safe, and we are bringing in landmark legislation to toughen sentences and put more police on the streets.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has welcomed the Government’s commitment of additional funding to provide safer public spaces for women and says hospitality businesses have invested considerably in ensuring venues are safe for women.
“We welcome the fact that this issue is being addressed by the Government and that funding will be forthcoming to ensure that spaces are made safer for women,” says Nicholls.
“It should be highlighted that the hospitality sector already works incredibly hard on this issue.”
Nicholls points to schemes such as Best Bar None, Pub Watch, Drinkaware and Ask for Angela, which have been adopted by the sector.
“In recent years, our businesses have invested considerable sums of money in their security and surveillance to ensure that venues our safe,” she says. “This must be matched by resources on the streets from local police and other civic bodies.
“We will be in contact with Thames Valley Police to learn from their experiences from Project Vigilant and share best practice throughout the industry, and to share our own expertise.”