Police Commissioner outlines funding help to make parks safer

Hirst Park in Ashington.Hirst Park in Ashington.
Hirst Park in Ashington.
Funding is being offered to help make parks safer in the region.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness wants to see family fun days, women’s safety parades, community clear-ups and park-based picnics breathe new life into green spaces.

It is part of the Safer Parks Project which has been rolled out across six parks across the Northumbria Police force area, including Ashington’s Hirst Park and Richardson Dees Park, Wallsend.

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To help put positive plans into action she is inviting local groups, organisations, youth clubs and sports teams to bid for a share of a £110,000 funding pot to help improve public confidence, park safety and ultimately reduce crime.

Miss McGuinness said: “We’re lucky, we have some really great parks but 62% of local women told me they felt unsafe or very unsafe in their nearby park at night.

"And that needs to change and so I am inviting people to help me reclaim our parks.

“There are 1.46 million people who live in the Northumbria Police force area and our parks are there to be enjoyed by every single one of them.

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"We need to address the barriers and concerns head on – tackling equality and fighting for rights.”

As part of the Commissioner’s Safer Parks Project, a number of other improvements are being rolled out to help particularly women, girls and marginalised groups feel safe as well as helping to reduce crime.

Better lighting, help points, improved signage and the cutting back of vegetation to aid visibility are just some of the measures already being put in place.

It closes on Wednesday, February 9.