North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin has secured an extra £339,000 in funding to reduce the number of offences involving violence against women and girls by 10 per cent.
The new Safer Streets initiative will include improving CCTV coverage, creating safer spaces for woman and girls as well as providing training and education.
Earlier this year Mr Dunbobbin succeeded in getting and additional £500,000 to fund a high tech blitz on crime hotspots in Colwyn Bay and Bangor.
The commissioner and his team worked closely with North Wales Police, Wrexham County Borough Council and other partners in putting the Wrexham bid together to target crimes like rape and other sexual offences, stalking and harassment and offences involving violence.
The scheme was drawn up to address the concerns of women and girls highlighted in a survey conducted by North Wales Police.
Among the findings were that they felt unsafe out in the town at night, in bars and nightclubs and in taxis.
Other big worries included the cat-calling and sexual comments directed at women and girls.
Many said they didn’t report it to the police because they didn’t think anything could be done about it as it had “almost become acceptable behaviour”.
According to Mr Dunbobbin, he’s determined to tackle the issues raised head on.
As a result, extra CCTV cameras and improved lighting will be installed and the plan will include providing training for night-time workers in Wrexham to prevent sexual violence as part of the Good Night Out Campaign.
Additional training will be given to Wrexham Street Pastors and Hope Street volunteers who look after vulnerable people out at night in the town.
The course will focus on mental health, first aid, suicide prevention and giving advice on alcohol consumption.
As part of the scheme, more safe spaces will be created by the Hope Street Church who will also be able to signpost vulnerable people so they can access support services.
The church also wants to train members to become Street Pastors.
Meanwhile, the Hafan y Dre welfare centre will be open on Friday nights as well as on Saturdays.
The funding will also be used to pay for a short educational film focusing on the issue of consent and the consequences of sexual offending.
Mr Dunbobbin said:
“I am delighted to have been able to secure this additional funding and I would like to pay tribute to the brilliant team in my office and our partners for the help they have given in drafting this successful bid.
“Keeping people safe is the number one priority for policing and safeguarding vulnerable women and girls is a key part of my Police and Crime Plan which sets out the blueprint for policing North Wales.
“At the same time it is vital that we tackle misogynistic attitudes and behaviours in society.
“Crimes against women are committed by men and it is men who ultimately have the responsibility to change.
“That’s why, alongside the other important measures we’re taking, training and education have such a vital role to play.
“This particular Safer Streets campaign in Wrexham aims to reduce the number of offences against women and girls by 10 per cent – and that would be an excellent start.”