Plans have been unveiled by Essex Conservatives to tackle what are very serious and real concerns facing people around safety.
With funding of £500,000 being made available, a new Safety Advisory Board is to be set up to look at the issue of street safety in the wake of the tragic death of Sarah Everard in South London, which has deeply affected the country.
By working with the Police, listening to women’s groups, support organisations and other partners, the aim is to investigate and better understand the real fears some people have about safety in many areas.
Cabinet Member for Children’s and Families, Cllr. Louise McKinlay, who is heading up the Board, said:
“We take extremely seriously the safety of all of our residents and it is simply not acceptable that in today’s society residents, women especially, feel they cannot move around freely and without fear. Whether they are in our busiest towns or our most rural of hamlets, we want to do all that we can to understand and address these concerns in the right way.
"We will be working closely with our Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst and will bring together expert groups and individuals to begin conversations, to better understand their views and real lived experiences to look at what we can do to address these important issues. Street lighting will form a part of this debate but there is more to consider. There is already a lot of work taking place in areas such as domestic abuse and the creation of this Board will allow us to look at the issue of personal safety in the round. We are committed to listening and acting so that residents of Essex can not only be safe but importantly feel safe too.”
The new Board will be set up in the coming days for work to then begin and it will bring forward recommendations and actions for consideration.