A programme that has led to a drop in offences on the public transport network has been recognised for its innovative approach to helping women and girls feel safer when out and about in Greater Manchester.
Launched in December 2021, Safer Streets is a half a million pound investment in a series of schemes launched and tested on the tram network and at key stops to respond to the issues raised by women and girls.
This has resulted in a 19% decrease in overall incidents on and around the Oldham Metrolink, with an average 25% month on month reduction in female victim offences. There has also been a 600% increase in incident reporting on the Metrolink.
This success has been recognised at the iNetwork Innovation Awards on Thursday 19 May. The awards showcase innovation across the public sector and the Safer Streets programme scooped the Transforming and Innovating Public Services Award.
Funded by £549,744 from the Home Office, the programme has been delivered in partnership by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Oldham Council, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Oldham College.
The programme has included the launch of a campaign to increase reporting of incidents on the Metrolink, with a focus on promoting Greater Manchester Police’s Live Chat.
Also the Trusted People scheme launched in Oldham, which sees the Street Angels and youth workers out and about on the network, to educate and engage people and increase safety and reassure the public. Trusted People have engaged with 724 young people since the scheme launched. Oldham Council is continuing to fund this initiative.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said:
“It’s fantastic news that the Safer Streets programme has been recognised for our innovative approach to tackling the issues of street harassment and safety, raised by so many women and girls.
“The success of these interventions, which have seen a reduction in incidents and an increase in reporting, is testament to our strong partnership working and the support of local people. I want to say thank you to all the partners involved in this project and I look forward to seeing how we will build on this.
“Importantly, I hope passengers, particularly women and girls, now feel safer and more confident when on and around the Metrolink and are reassured that their safety is our priority.”
Sayyed Osman, Deputy Chief Executive of Oldham Council, said:
“This is superb news and is a result of the hard work and dedication put in by our staff and partners.
“As a council we are committed to ensuring our communities feel safe when they are out and about, including when they use public transport.
“Over the last few months our Youth Service and the Oldham Street Angels have carried out some great work as part of the Trusted People initiative, offering reassurance, and providing a friendly face, to people of all ages.
“In addition to this, we’re currently in the process of installing 51 CCTV cameras at locations around five Metrolink stops near the town centre to help passengers and residents feel safer and more confident when using the local tram network.”