Councillors have welcomed investment totalling more than £365,000 to tackle anti social behaviour and promote 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, totalling £365,557, will see the further expansion of the Night Guardians scheme. The Night Guardians 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, 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.

Members of the council's Cabinet (Resources) Panel recently agreed that the council will act as the accountable body for the grant, and warmly welcomed the investment.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "A large portion of this funding is going to be used to put extra resources onto the streets. 

“We will be able to deliver an extra 68 nights of the Safe Haven facility in the city centre, giving people a safe and warm place to get welfare, advice and support, and we'll have an additional 10 police officers present in the city centre for 5 hours per night, 2 days a week. 

"There is also training for taxi operators, door staff and other workers to help them recognise incidents where women may find themselves in a difficult situation.

"This is welcome news for the city and puts us in a good place with the expected upsurge in the night time economy once the Civic Halls reopen."

Chief Supt Richard Fisher from Wolverhampton Police said: “This additional funding will support our already strong partnership working and activities in the city centre and the wider borough.

“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.”

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