A Hastings councillor has pledged to find the resources and implement whatever is needed to allow local women to walk safely in Alexandra Park.
Councillor Paul Barnett is the co-chair of The Safer Hastings and Safer Rother Joint Community Safety Partnership, the group issued a statement this week saying it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of Sarah Everard and it recognises that the level of violence against women has increased during the last year as a result of the lockdowns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All community safety partners will continue working, as a priority, through a wide variety of services and responses to ensure that that all women feel safe at all times and in all places,” the statement says.
“…my first action will be to listen with real interest to what women are saying about the park, and then to find resources to implement the recommendations that come forward…”Councillor Paul Barnett
All partners are committed to ensuring that:
- violence and harassment against women is unacceptable wherever it may be; at home, in public, the workplace or during exercise, from inappropriate, unwanted and lewd comments, to groping, domestic abuse and violent crime.
- we continue to prioritise tackling violence and harassment against women through a wide variety of services and responses.
- the recognition of an increase during the last year, contributed to by the various lockdowns, does not get over looked.
- we will make women’s safety a standing item on the Community Safety Partnerships agenda and hold each other to account.
In addition, the partnership agreed to continue to encourage the reporting of all violence and harassment against women and remind the public that it is now possible to email reports to www.sussex.police.uk or Crime stoppers 0800 555 111.
Councillor Paul Barnett, Co-chair of the Safer Hastings and Safer Rother Partnership and lead councillor for Community Safety at Hastings Borough Council, said: “The death of Sarah Everard was a shocking reminder of the level of violence against women, wherever you live, whatever your role.
“For many women this came as no surprise, sadly, as they experience harassment, abuse and inappropriate behaviour from men regularly.
“For many men, including me, this was a wakeup call. We all need to listen harder to how women feel and what they tell us. We all need to consider how we can change our behaviour to make this a thing of the past. I was struck by how many women said that only men can make the change we all need.
“I hope this is a good start, with a unanimous decision by the Partnership that I co-chair to make this a priority.
“As well as the death of Sarah Everard, there have been several attacks over the last year in Alexandra Park, and so my first action will be to listen with real interest to what women are saying about the park, and then to find resources to implement the recommendations that come forward as a result.”