Police chief's call for men to keep women safe

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness is calling for more men to get on board a scheme to make women feel safer.

By Tom Patterson
Friday, 21st January 2022, 10:22 am
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness

The police chief last month launched a mobile phone app to make it easier for people to report incidents, get support and help support others who have or are experiencing harassment on the area’s public transport system.

While Ms McGuinness says she is please with the take-up of the Safer Transport Northumbria App, she has called for more men to get involved.

She said: “The app is there for everyone. This isn’t about women looking out for women. Men want to be and can be part of this solution and this app can help.”

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The app has been downloaded by hundreds of transport users in the Northumbria Police force area.

She says it is the time for men to ‘do their bit’ and make it the end of the road for unwanted sexual behaviour.

She said: “No-one should ignore unacceptable behaviours. We need to see a fundamental culture change and men need to be at the heart of this.

"Downloading this app and reporting anything that’s not right is an easy way to do your bit.”

She added: “I’ve spoken to youth workers who talk about a worrying willingness among young women to accept bad behaviours as the norm and have women telling me that they simply won’t travel at night. This is just not right.

“Doing nothing creates a society that validates abusive behaviour and that’s not what we want for young girls growing up in the North East.

“It needs to stop. Creepy comments at the bar, the boys banter in the changing rooms – we have to call this out.

"Flagging your concerns through the app when you see a girl being abused on a train or hear awful names being heckled her way is a start.

"We need men to be driving this change.”

The app is available for free through Google Play and the App Store and when on your phone, it takes you through a simple series of steps that allow you to raise safety concern and report crimes, anonymously, if preferred.

For more information about the app, go to https://northumbria-pcc.gov.uk/your-priorities/police-crime-plan/improving-lives/safer-transport-northumbria/