West Yorkshire Police has introduced a new pilot in Leeds, which invites women to meet with Neighbourhood Police Officers and PCSOs to show them areas in which they feel vulnerable or unsafe in their local communities.
The pilot will be taking place in the following areas of Leeds: Pudsey, Farsley, Hyde Park, Headingley and Woodhouse.
It is open to women aged 18 and above, living or working in these areas, who wish to share their worries or concerns regarding their safety in the local area.
The ‘Walk and Talk’ will take approximately one hour and can take place at any time on a date available for those participating.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “We want to listen to women’s experiences and for them to feel free to share their thoughts and raise concerns. From these conversations we are keen to learn about any reoccurring themes and find out what we, along with our partners, can do to improve safety for women and girls.
“We have also partnered with the probation service, to use the community payback scheme. This is where offenders who have received non-custodial outcomes from court undertake unpaid work within the community. The work assigned to the offenders will be based on feedback received from the Walk and Talk sessions to help rectify areas where women feel unsafe.
“We recognise male allyship is fundamental to a safe, just, and inclusive environment in West Yorkshire. Utilising the community payback scheme will hopefully help to generate further allies and positive societal changes to support women and girls to be safe and feel safe.”
Currently, this initiative is only taking place in Pudsey, Farsley, Hyde Park, Headingley and Woodhouse. But police hope to roll it out to other areas in the near future. If you are interested in a ‘Walk and Talk’ outside of these areas, email email@example.com to register your interest.
You can also report feeling unsafe in public spaces via the StreetSafe app, completely anonymously.
Whether it’s due to environmental reasons, such as poor street-lighting or anti-social behaviour or harassment, reports to the app are shared with police and the council for action.
WalkSafe Leeds is a free app to help you have safer and more enjoyable experiences when you are out around Leeds. It allows you to share the tracking of your location and journeys with others, share your route and alert your contacts if you need help. You can also find venues in the area that are dedicated safe spaces.