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Council ramps up action to improve safety in Barking and Dagenham

Safety WalkaboutTags Adults , Business , Council , Family , Residents , Teenagers

Earlier this year, Barking and Dagenham Council held an online Women’s Safety Survey, so that women could highlight areas in the borough where they felt unsafe.

The survey was conducted following the tragic death of Sarah Everard in March and women were able to either drop pins on locations across the borough where they the feel unsafe, complete an anonymous form highlighting areas where they don’t feel safe and share ideas on how women could feel more safer in the borough.

The survey was hugely popular with residents with over 400 people taking part.

Following on from the results of the survey, Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement and Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety joined council officers to visit three of the hot spots (Dagenham Heathway, Chadwell Heath and Barking Town Centre) that were highlighted in the survey, so they could see first-hand what the issues are.

Councillor Ashraf said: “We don’t want or expect anybody feel scared while walking the streets of Barking and Dagenham, that’s why these walkabouts were so important. Together with officers we have looked at each of the areas where people have said they are feeling particularly unsafe while they’re out and about.
 
“We will now work closely with the police to put plans in place to make residents feel safer.”

Alongside the police, the council will look to install some quick fixes to make people safer while walking around including increasing the amount of CCTV, lighting and intensify police and council enforcement patrols.

In the meantime, the council has already increased patrols and security at Barking Station and London Road Car Park as these were areas that kept getting highlighted by residents.

However, the council is aware that while these measures might help in the short term, longer term, more needs to be done to educate men about what is acceptable and respectful behaviour towards women.

Councillor Mullane added: “This work is even more important now following the tragic death of Sabina Nessa a couple of weeks ago.

“Nobody should be worried or feel unsafe walking around the area that they call home and we’re going to do everything we can do ensure that we change the way people feel when they venture out of their homes.”

Following the walkarounds, the council will be working up an action plan that will be overseen by the Community Safety Partnership. The action plan will set out timescales for delivery including the quick fixes to improve safety in the borough.

If residents have concerns about safety, they should email csp@lbbd.gov.uk. 

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