Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell and Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram have launched a brand new initiative aimed at helping people who feel vulnerable, distressed or are being targeted with abuse or intimidation.
Bus stations across the Liverpool City Region will become ‘safe spaces’ for those who need them. The idea is to provide a temporary refuge where people can go if they need help and support while they call and wait for a family member or friend to collect them, or for the police to arrive.
The initiative is part of LCR Pride Foundation’s ‘You’re Safe Here’ scheme, funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) which aims to reassure people that they are in a safe place that staff will know what to do if they are a victim of a crime, need help, or are faced with intimidation or other unacceptable behaviour.
Staff have also been trained to provide help and reassurance to those who need assistance, as well as information on available support services, with designated safe place champions at each major bus station in the city region; Birkenhead, Bootle, Huyton, Liverpool ONE, Queen Square and St Helens.
‘You’re Safe Here’ posters and digital signs will be displayed around travel hubs and bus stations, to let people know they can go to a member of staff and ask for help if they need to.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Merseyside is such a friendly, inclusive region and we are determined to ensure everyone who lives, works and visits here feels safe.
“You’re Safe Here and Safer Streets Merseyside are both initiatives I’m proud to be delivering focused on protecting people in our communities and increasing feelings of safety. It’s fantastic that staff at our major bus stations have engaged with both these schemes so enthusiastically and have pledged to making these locations safe spaces for anyone who needs support.
“It’s yet another example of how determined local people are to go out of their way to help others and make sure our region is safe and welcoming for all.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “Hundreds of thousands of people rely on our public transport network to get about every day. Every single one of them deserves to feel safe and comfortable when travelling around our region but, sadly, we know this isn’t always the case.
“In the Liverpool City Region, we’re investing in better CCTV at bus stops and have secured the role of a second safety critical person on all our new £500m publicly owned trains, which are fitted with real time CCTV. We’re making great progress – but there’s still more work to be done.
“While I wish people were never faced with situations where they feel vulnerable on our streets or public transport, we want to reassure them that, should they need it, our safe spaces mean that there’s now always a place for them to go and someone to talk to.”
Andi Herring, CEO of LCR Pride Foundation: “When it comes to feeling safe, we shouldn’t just be confined to the spaces or businesses that we are familiar with.
“Hundreds of thousands of people use our city’s bus networks to get to work and for leisure and this commitment from the Combined Authority that all of the region’s bus stations will be ‘You’re Safe Here’ accredited means that people can be reassured teams know what to do if they need support or feel unsafe.”
Safe Spaces are the newest initiative from the Safer Streets campaign, a £750m PCC-led scheme which aims to increase safety around the transport network, particularly for women, across the Liverpool City Region.
Other measures rolled out as part of the Safer Streets campaign include enhanced CCTV coverage at key transport hubs, new ‘help points’ linked to emergency services and a text message service which can be used to report concerns on the bus network and identify offenders.