Listening exercise findings project, August 2022
In response to a national conversation around the safety of women and girls in public spaces, the Safer Ealing Partnership (SEP) conducted a listening exercise to focus on the voices of women and girls in the borough. More than 3,000 women and girls over the age of 13 took part in the conversation, sharing their thoughts and feedback on what would make them feel safer.
The women who took part shared their views via a survey on the ‘Give My View’ platform. There was an interactive map where people could pinpoint locations where they have experienced harassment or felt unsafe in public spaces. The SEP also held a number of focus groups in association with local support organisations: Southall Black Sisters, Eastern European Services and Bollo Brook Youth Centre.
The partnership’s aim was to listen to feedback and put actions into place to improve women’s safety. In response to the findings an action plan has been created to improve the safety of women in the borough.
- Street lighting: 93% of women suggested that better lighting would improve safety in public spaces. In response, the Council is improving and extending street lighting by the end of October 2022. Alongside, upgrading 3,100 light columns to LED and investing £2.1m in upgrading all remaining streetlighting.
- Education: Launch an education program offered to every secondary school, to focus on healthy relationships, as well as identifying and challenging unacceptable attitudes and behaviour.
- Communication: The exercise discovered that 90% of women were unaware of support organisations. The SEP will design a ‘one-stop-shop’ Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) website. Links to support organisations for women and information on reporting will be included.
- CCTV: 60% of women suggested that CCTV cameras will make them feel safer. 14 new HD CCTV cameras will be installed in key locations identified in the consultation.
- Street lighting: 93% of women suggested that better lighting would improve safety in public spaces. The Council will enhance street lighting, with a focus on darker side streets. 3000 streetlights will be upgraded to LED.
- Reporting: Only 14% of women have reported incidents. The police in Ealing have committed to an officer contacting all female informants and victims of open-space violence or unwanted sexual attention.
- Community: The police have a pledged to run a Walk & Talk activity once a month and run community activities and events to reach out to and build confidence in communities.