More than £365,000 to deliver more police officers and expand nighttime patrols in Wolverhampton city centre
More than £365,000 has been pledged to tackle anti-social behaviour and promote the safety of women in Wolverhampton city centre.
The funding will be used to expand the Night Guardians scheme, which delivers patrols of the city centre and provides a visible presence of help to women and girls.
It will also see an additional 10 police officers present in the city centre for five hours per night, two days a week.
Cash will also be used to deliver an extra 68 nights of the Safe Haven facility in the city centre, giving people a safe and warm place to get welfare, advice and support.
This will include the addition of portable toilets nearby, preventing women from having to seek out more secluded locations.
It follows a successful bid by Wolverhampton Council, West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to the Home Office Safer Streets Fund, with the funding totalling £365,557.
Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, said: "A large portion of this funding is going to be used to put extra resources onto the streets.
“We will be able to deliver an extra 68 nights of the Safe Haven facility in the city centre, giving people a safe and warm place to get welfare, advice and support, and we'll have an additional 10 police officers present in the city centre for 5 hours per night, 2 days a week.
"There is also training for taxi operators, door staff and other workers to help them recognise incidents where women may find themselves in a difficult situation.
"This is welcome news for the city and puts us in a good place with the expected upsurge in the nighttime economy once the Civic Halls reopen."
Training and workshops around tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring the safety of women at night will also be delivered to staff working in the nighttime economy, including taxi drivers, taxi marshals and venue workers, so that they are better able to respond to incidents if they occur.
Members of the council's Cabinet (Resources) Panel recently agreed that the council will act as the accountable body for the grant, and warmly welcomed the investment.
Chief Supt Richard Fisher from Wolverhampton Police said: "This additional funding will support our already strong partnership working and activities in the city centre and the wider borough.
"Wolverhampton remains one of the safest urban cities nationally and we want to continually improve that and encourage more visitors and economic growth with the excitement of the reopening of the Civic and Wulfrun Halls."