Government cash to improve safety at Crow Nest Park in Dewsbury

Crow Nest Park in Dewsbury will receive cash from the Government to help make it safer.

By Dominic Brown
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 1:30 pm
Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury
Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury

The park, as well as Greenhead Park in Huddersfield, have been allocated a £46,000 investment from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund.

Kirklees Council will work with partners and "Friends of" groups to draw up plans aimed at stopping offences from happening in the first place and reduce safety fears - particularly for women and girls.

It is hoped work would also encourage more women’s groups to use the spaces.

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Plans could include improving the look and feel of the parks, the cutting back of vegetation to increase visibility, improved lighting, better signage or training and mentoring for crime prevention activities.

The funding comes after a successful partnership bid was made by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police.

The bid was co-ordinated by Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, which secured a total of £655,000 for the county, £46,000 of which has been allocated to Kirklees.

Coun Carole Pattison, cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities, said: “Following the successful bid for funding I am pleased we will be able to make enhancements to Greenhead Park and Crow Nest Park that will ensure they are welcoming places, with spaces where everyone feels safe.

“The safety of everyone using our parks is always an absolute priority and officers from Safer Kirklees and West Yorkshire Police walk through the parks regularly to support this.

“Fortunately, incidents in our parks are rare, but nevertheless anything we can do to enhance crime prevention and the feeling of safety, especially for women and girls, is greatly valued and this funding will go a long way to achieving that.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners and the ‘Friends of’ groups to ensure any potential ‘hotspots’ are identified and appropriate work is carried out.

“This work will leave a legacy of insights we can apply to future design or redevelopment of our public spaces for crime prevention and improved safety.

“Sadly, the national picture shows women and girls are disproportionately likely to experience certain types of crimes, like sexual and verbal harassment.

"So, as well as the improvements we’re making in public spaces, I’d also like to remind women of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign which many of our town centre evening entertainment venues are supporting.

"If you feel unsafe on a night out while in one of these venues, you can approach staff and ask for ‘Angela’. They will discreetly help you out of the situation.”

The Safer Streets Fund has a particular emphasis on measures that will increase the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

Ms Brabin said: “Improving the safety of women and girls is a fundamental pledge of mine and that of my Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe. I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to secure this substantial funding.

“I would like to thank West Yorkshire Police, the local authorities and women and girl groups for all their work on the bids in conjunction with my office, I look forward to working together to deliver them.”

Anyone who feels unsafe in a public space can report it on StreetSafe, an online mapping tool which allows people to flag areas where they don’t feel safe and say why. Go to www.police.uk/streetsafe