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Women and girls to be offered safe haven by shops in Nottinghamshire town

Women, girls, and anyone who feels they are in danger will be able to seek safety in shops as part of a new scheme to help people in danger.

Up to twenty-five businesses could take part in the Safe Space scheme which is being rolled out across Warsop.

The scheme will see participating stores given CCTV cameras and staff training on how to support people who come through their doors looking for help.

Safe Space signs will be on display as an added security blanket for people to enter these stores and seek refuge should they need to.

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Warsop is also set to benefit from new CCTV cameras, street lighting and environmental improvements to make people more confident when they are out in public.

Refuge point cameras are going to be installed at key locations which will be monitored 24-hours a day and have already been successful in providing another way for people to feel safe in their community.

They allow people in distress to press a button on the column which gives direct access to the CCTV control room and allows them to ask for help.

The scheme is one of a series of safety measures coming to Warsop after the area was announced as benefitting from a share of £3m Safer Streets funding secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.

“The project in Warsop has a particular focus around violence against women and girls, which is something I feel passionately about and is a priority in our Make Notts Safe Plan.

“The Safe Space scheme is predominantly aimed at women and girls as they are the people who are most impacted by feelings of safety in public – but anyone who needs help can use the scheme.

“People should never be afraid to go out in our public spaces and with such a comprehensive package of safety measures, this should provide a noticeable difference to people’s feelings of safety in the town.”

The plans for a Safe Space scheme and refuge point cameras follow a similar and successful idea that was pioneered in Sutton-in-Ashfield earlier this year through previous

Safer Streets funding leading towns and cities across the country to start their own versions.

Rachel Dunlop, of Warsop Computers in High Street, Warsop, said she would be interested in joining the Safe Space scheme and was happy to see the Safer Streets investment coming to the town.

“It sounds like it’s definitely something that Warsop needs,” she said. “If you’ve got fellow shop workers keeping an eye out for people and working together then that’s got to be a good thing.”

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing at Mansfield District Council, said: “The focus of this new funding will be to ensure that the community can feel safe and stay safe. We are working with the police and other partners, including local schools and charities that support survivors of domestic abuse.

“We are also looking to deliver support to help people who work in local businesses to ‘be prepared not scared’ to enable them to feel empowered to take positive action if they witness an incident in public.

“We are very lucky that there is great community spirit and local organisations in Warsop which we can tap into and build on to improve the quality of life for people there.”

•  Call the police: Reminder issued in struggle against domestic abuse in Nottinghamshire

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