'Truly shocking' survey suggests how unsafe women across Cleveland feel after dark
Survey results suggesting more than eight out of ten women feel unsafe outdoors after dark have been described as “truly shocking”.
The research was commissioned by new Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner ahead of a bid for government money to tackle violence against women and girls.
The month-long study indicated that more than 81 per cent of female respondents felt unsafe across the Cleveland Police force area.
This was made up of almost 48 per cent who said they felt “very unsafe” with a further 33.6 per cent feeling “fairly unsafe”.
The presence of substance misusers, beggars and men staring at them were the most common reasons for women feeling uncomfortable in town centres.
In more residential areas, gangs of youths hanging around shops was a key factor for women feeling unsafe.
Many women also feel unsafe while exercising outdoors as a result of lewd comments.
Mr Turner said: “The results of this survey are truly shocking and show there is a lot to be done to increase women and girls’ feelings of safety, particularly at night and in our town centres.
“We’ve got to make sure that women can play a full role in our society and not be afraid to use public spaces freely.”
The online survey looked at how females in Cleveland feel in a range of situations.
Experiences collected by the survey will inform a bid for new Home Office funding.
Safer Streets 3 was launched in March to address concerns about violence against women and girls and to put measures in place to make them feel safe in public spaces.
A decision is expected in August.