Over £365,000 is to be invested in tackling anti social behaviour and promoting the safety of women in Wolverhampton city centre.

It follows a successful bid by the City of Wolverhampton Council, West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to the Home Office Safer Streets Fund.

The funding will particularly be used for initiatives that promote the safety of women at night and to tackle anti social behaviour involving younger people.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Safer Streets Fund is designed to help tackle crime in specific neighbourhoods, making residents feel safer and reducing demand on the police.

"We are pleased to have received this funding, which will enable us to better tackle issues surrounding anti social behaviour and violence against women and girls in the city centre.

"We are also seeing concerning levels of violence between young people in the city, which can escalate into more serious incidents.

“In recording incidents of both, Wolverhampton is unfortunately no different to any other big town or city. But we want to ensure our city centre remains a safe place for people to visit, whether they are coming in the day to work or shop, or in the evening for a big night out, and this funding will enable us to deliver key initiatives to make this happen."

The funding, totalling £365,557, will see the further expansion of the Night Guardians scheme. They patrol the city centre, act as a point of contact to visitors and provide a visible presence of help to women and girls. 

Training and workshops around tackling anti social behaviour and ensuring the safety of women at night will be delivered to staff working in the night time economy, including taxi drivers, taxi marshals and venue workers, so that they are better able to respond to incidents if they occur.

Additional police will be on duty around the bus station, where there are higher rates of anti social behaviour among young people, while P3 Navigator will provide outreach services to address anti social behaviour and street drinking.

Funding for the Safe Haven will continue, with the addition of portable toilets nearby, preventing women from having to seek out more secluded locations.

Chief Superintendent Richard Fisher from Wolverhampton Police said: “This positive news of additional funding to support our already strong partnership working and activities in the city centre and the wider borough is very welcome.

“Tackling key issues including women’s safety and anti social behaviour which cause a sense of fear and violence particularly among our younger communities are critical within our community safety work. Many aspects of the successful bid have been pilot schemes or activities undertaken over the last year, which could only be funded once a month. This funding is enabling the expansion of these and the support we provide in the city centre.

“Wolverhampton remains one of the safest urban cities nationally and we want to continually improve that and encourage more visitors and economic growth with the excitement of the reopening of the Civic and Wulfrun Halls.”

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “Ending male violence against women and girls has been a core priority for me from day one. 

“It was a central part of my manifesto in 2021 and it is a top priority in my Police and Crime Plan. We’ve been able to take some great strides already but there’s so much work to be done in achieving community wide change and having more open conversations about what we can all do. This important funding will help us to do just that.”

A multi agency project group is now being established to oversee the delivery of the programme, reporting to the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, to commence delivery of projects, the funding for which is available until August 2023.