PCC Sees New Safety Features Installed at Ponderosa Park

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings has visited a Sheffield park, benefitting from Home Office funding to improve safety and security.

Ponderosa Park covers more than 25 acres, providing locals with a mixture of community space and woodland.

As part of the Safer Streets initiative, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office secured £550,000 of funding to help make women and girls feel safer in public spaces, with £460,000 of this set aside to install lighting and CCTV.

Dr Billings said: “One of my areas of focus in the Police and Crime Plan is to tackle violence against women and girls. My office applied for a grant to install lighting and CCTV in four public parks across South Yorkshire; areas which were selected following public consultation about experiences and feelings of safety in public places.

“Women and girls in South Yorkshire have the right to feel safe in public spaces, yet more than 2,000 responses pointed to a sharp drop in feelings of confidence at night and highlighted that parks and woodland areas were the areas where women felt most unsafe.”

Other parks benefitting from improved lighting and CCTV are Locke Park, Barnsley, Far Field Park, Doncaster and Clifton Park in Rotherham.

Dr Billings added: “Improved lighting will hopefully give locals more confidence in walking through the park during the hours of darkness and additional CCTV acts as a deterrent from criminal behaviour.

“I’ve been pleased to visit the parks in South Yorkshire seeing the improvements in safety as a result of the Safer Streets funding.”

Councillor Tom Hunt, Councillor for Walkley ward, said: “The Ponderosa is one of our best parks and the new street lights mean that more of the park is now lit after dark.

“Everyone should feel safe in our parks and public spaces but for many people, especially women and girls, this isn’t the case. That’s why the new street lights are so welcome. They are an important step to improving safety in our area.”