New CCTV cameras and better lighting are to be set up at two parks in the Harborough district to make women and girls safer

It comes after Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews was handed £550,000 to help protect women and girls across the county

Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:25 pm
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:28 pm

New CCTV cameras and better lighting are to be set up at two popular parks in the Harborough district in an attempt to make women and girls safer.

The move to beef up security is to go ahead at Welland Park in Market Harborough and Warwick Park in Kibworth Harcourt.

It comes after Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews was handed £550,000 to help protect women and girls across the county.

Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews

Mr Matthews has been given the large sum amid a growing national storm over violence towards females after serving Met Police officer PC Wayne Couzens abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in London.

The PCC successfully bid for funding in the third round of the Home Office's Safer Streets Fund - receiving the maximum grant available for a new safety scheme.

The cash will be injected into 31 new CCTV cameras and brighter lighting in parks to “deter crime, reduce the risk of women and girls being assaulted and increase the chance of offenders being caught by police”.

Undergrowth and foliage will also be cut back as a new safety campaign is launched to “challenge misogynistic attitudes”.

"Women and girls have a right to feel safe everywhere - at home, online and in our public spaces.

"This funding will enable us to make immediate changes to improve personal safety and reduce the opportunity for crime and violence while giving women greater confidence to walk without fear.

"We have listened very carefully to local women to understand where they feel most vulnerable and at risk,” said Mr Matthews, of Kibworth Beauchamp.

“For this reason, this project will deliver extensive CCTV provision and additional lighting across our parks to increase visibility and address areas of seclusion.

"We presented a compelling case for this additional funding and I am delighted the Home Office has endorsed our plans with the maximum award available of £550,000."

Work is to be carried out at 18 parks in Leicestershire and Rutland.

And a new Behaviour Change Campaign across the Leicestershire Police area will combat “underlying attitudes and inequalities that help to foster gender-based violence”.