Thousands of residents respond to Safer Nights survey
Nearly 2,800 people in Wiltshire responded to questions about how safe they feel at night and what would help towards making them feel safer.
The survey results, launched by Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson, in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, will now help shape a charter with the aim of making public spaces safer for all at night.
Analysis showed that only 3% of people – the majority of our respondents were women - feel safe when out at night. Drunken behaviour and large groups of people were amongst the most significant contributors, while 74% of people said police presence in towns and busy areas would make them feel safer when out at night.
Other feedback found that 21% of people had been a victim of a crime at night, with many not thinking it was serious enough to report to the police.
These results will now help to inform funding bids from the OPCC, and partners, for safer streets funding, which are used for projects including more street lighting and extra CCTV. The Commissioner has pledged to increase police numbers and ensure greater visibility of officers in communities, improve the and quality of the policing service in communities – with police focusing on those crimes which matter most, ensure officers have the right tools for the job and improve the experience of victims.
Mr Wilkinson said: “The results from the survey show the importance of the Safety at Night Charter so we can continue our work towards making Wiltshire safer - in line with the priorities within my Police and Crime Plan and which our residents helped to shape.
“Only by working with residents and late-night establishments will we be able to effectively make public spaces at night safer for all and that is why it is so important for us to understand what practical steps we can take as a collective.
“It is important this charter is fit-for-purpose and encompasses all those who use public spaces at night, be it those who socialise in bars and clubs or perhaps work in the night-time economy, travel home from work, exercise, travel home from visiting friends and family and all the other reasons in between.”
Wiltshire and Swindon’s Safety at Night Charter is inspired by the pledges created for the Mayor of London’s Women’s Night Safety Charter, launched in 2018, and one recently launched in Exeter.
While Wiltshire and Swindon’s Charter will have elements focused on reducing violence against women and girls, it is inclusive of all those who use public spaces at night.
Organisations that operate in the night-time economy, such as bars, pubs, clubs, taxis and others will be encouraged to voluntarily sign up to the charter from the end of November with the aim of working together to make a positive, proactive change.
To download the full results presentation click here or see the presentation below.