In Kirklees, efforts are underway to enhance the safety of students and women this autumn. The Kirklees Police have outlined a series of measures aimed at providing better protection for females. These include increased police presence in student-populated areas, focused efforts against offenders, dissemination of fresh safety guidance, and the introduction of additional Safe Zones for those vulnerable, all set to commence this month.
Partners such as Safer Kirklees and The University of Huddersfield will collaborate with Kirklees Officers in this initiative, aligning with similar ongoing efforts across the broader force region. Collaborative efforts with the university to ensure the safety of female students encompass specialised high-visibility police patrols in student zones and the continued operation of the Night Safety bus, which was introduced last year.
The Night Safety bus, operated by a team of trained personnel from Change Grow Live’s CHART Kirklees drug and alcohol service, alongside Locala, serves as a resource for reporting instances of sexual harassment and providing a secure environment for those feeling threatened during a night out. Furthermore, support for maintaining safety will also be extended to students through events held at the University of Huddersfield, as well as to women in general through gatherings at Kingsgate in Huddersfield and Dewsbury bus station.
Simultaneously, the ‘Safe Zones’ initiative will be expanded even further with the introduction of a new Safe Zone in every GP’s surgery across Kirklees. Presently, there are over 230 Safe Zones in operation, spanning locations such as shops, public buildings, and railway stations, covering both Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
Safe Zones serve as designated spaces where women or children feeling followed or at risk can seek refuge until the threat subsides. These areas also offer amenities like phone charging facilities for those in need, and individuals may choose to utilise the Ask Angela scheme by presenting a card to staff, requesting assistance with making a call on their behalf.
In addition to preventive measures, officers are actively pursuing arrest inquiries for men wanted for violent crimes against women who remain at large. This new safety initiative builds upon a sustained campaign launched last autumn, credited with a notable reduction in targeted offences against women in the Kirklees district.
Chief Superintendent Helen Brear of Kirklees Police, said: “A significant amount of work continues in Kirklees to make women and girls safer and I want to thank our partners for the huge contributions they have been making for some time now to achieve this.
“Our new autumn wave of activity is intended to continue this good work through the remainder of this year and has been timed to start with the expected influx of new students into Kirklees from this month.
“A key part of making our communities safer is of course to prevent crime from ever taking place, and we believe these initiatives, including those with the university, will make females feel safer, and hopefully prevent criminal activity.
“Colleagues from across West Yorkshire Police are carrying out operations across the force this week and we want to make it very clear in Kirklees that any form of violent act towards females here will not be tolerated.
“Women should feel safe each and every day when going about their business in our towns and villages and we intend to keep up our joint work to ensure they can.”