South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has visited the latest park to benefit from government funding, with the aim of improving the safety of public spaces.
The programme, funded by the Government’s Safer Streets Fund, has seen state-of-the-art lighting installed alongside the path in Clifton Park, Rotherham, which leads from Middle Lane to Clifton Park Museum. The lighting will make it easier for users to see without disturbing nearby wildlife and housing.
It is hoped that the new lighting will provide a safer environment and allow residents to feel more confident after dark.
New CCTV has also been installed throughout the park to prevent and detect crime in the area.
The funding aims to improve the safety of public spaces for all with a particular focus on areas of potential concern to women and girls.
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “I was pleased to visit Clifton Park and see first-hand how the addition of CCTV and improved lighting will help to deter crime in the area.
“As part of the Safer Streets application, a public consultation highlighted a drop in confidence at night and highlighted that parks and woodland areas were the areas where women felt most unsafe.
“Tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and this Home Office funding will go some way to disrupt criminal activity and protect women and girls from violence in South Yorkshire.”
Following a public survey and looking at crime data, South Yorkshire Police found that parks were highlighted as areas that would benefit from intervention.
Consultation with local women’s groups showed a preference for parks to be made safer after dark, as well as the need for more innovative lighting solutions – which provide disperse lighting over wider areas as opposed to traditional streetlighting.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance, Cllr Saghir Alam, said: “It is really important that residents in Rotherham feel safe in their neighbourhoods and the funds from the Safer Streets Fund will enable us to make a popular daytime route feel safer and give confidence to residents who already use this as a thoroughfare. The Council is committed to making every neighbourhood a thriving place to live, where residents feel safe and can keep healthy.”