Police advise how Daventry girls and women can feel safer on the streets
As the murder of Sarah Everard sparks calls to improve street safety, police have issued a number of tips for concerned girls and women in Daventry.
Dozens of women contacted The Gusher to share their concerns about safety in recent weeks.
Some females said they were too scared to even leave the house unless it was daylight because of street harassment from men.
It is one of the most pervasive forms of violence against women, holding them back from working, socialising and from living with freedom and dignity.
Inspector Dave Wakeman, who leads the Daventry Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We appreciate there are heightened concerns around personal safety, especially for women, and want to offer reassurance that our officers are here to help.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe where they live and work, and Northamptonshire Police works with a range of partner agencies to keep Daventry a safe place.
“We don’t see a lot of reports of verbal abuse made in our area – but the Force needs to know about incidents like this so we and our partners can take action. We need to know what is happening, where and when, so together we can tackle issues and help our communities feel safer.
“I would encourage anyone who experiences any form of unwanted behaviour or harassment, or any form of crime, to make a report to us by calling 101 or reporting online at www.northants.police.uk/ro, or calling 999 in an emergency. We will take it seriously, and we will take action wherever possible against those who wrongly believe it’s acceptable to behave this way.
“The recently announced officer uplift for Neighbourhood Policing Teams will also see the number of officers doubled in Daventry, so over the next few months there will be a greater visible police presence in the town.
“We also have dedicated town centre PCSO patrols – these officers are out and about every day and I would encourage anyone who wants to ask for advice or raise a concern to speak to them, they are there to help.”
Northamptonshire Police offer the following safety advice:
*Be prepared. Plan your route in advance. Carry a charged mobile phone and some cash, and tell someone where you’re going
*Be assertive. From the moment you step out onto the street in the morning, look assertive and act and walk with confidence. This will always make you appear in control and much less vulnerable
*Be aware. Using a mobile phone, whether making a call or texting, wearing a hood or listening to loud music, all affect your awareness of your surroundings
*Hide it. Keep your valuables including your mobile phone, other devices and jewellery, hidden. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. For more information, visit our page on protecting yourself from street robbery
*Go against the flow. When walking on the pavement, always face oncoming traffic, as it will make it far more difficult for thieves on two wheelers to ride up from behind and snatch your property. But still also be aware of anyone approaching from ahead of you
*Trust your instincts. Try to avoid walking alone at night in places such as parks and side streets or any unfamiliar environment. If you do have to walk, stick to busy places where there is a lot of activity, CCTV and good lighting
*Make a plan. And stick to it. First off, discuss with friends what to do if something were to go wrong on your night out together, e.g. if one of you has too much to drink or you were to get separated. Agree on a backup plan and look out for one another
*Be vigilant. Alcohol and drugs will reduce reaction times and inhibitions, which makes it harder to assess risks and decide how to deal with them. So keep an eye on how much you drink and never let your glass or bottle out of your sight. See our page on drink spiking for more information
*Safety in numbers. Try to travel with people you know and, where possible, stick to routes and forms of transport that others are using and avoid shortcuts in lonely places
Find more crime prevention advice at https://www.northants.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention