‘Walk With A Cop’ personal safety initiative launched in Three Rivers
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A new partnership initiative designed to address residents’ personal safety concerns in Three Rivers launched earlier this month.
The aim of the Walk With A Cop (WWAC) scheme is to highlight any areas in the district where people – particularly women and girls – feel vulnerable, so that local police and partners can take tangible steps to improve feelings of safety.
They also shared personal safety advice and discussed the work being done to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the county.
The first WWAC event was held in Rickmansworth on Saturday 2 December, where the Safer Neighbourhood Team was joined by Councillors Sarah Nelmes and Reena Ranger OBE from Three Rivers District Council.
Sergeant Holly Cooper-Waldron, who leads the Rickmansworth Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Despite the chilly weather, we were pleased to see a fantastic turn out and it was great to meet members of the local community and listen to their concerns.
“The walking route covered 2.2miles and took in landmarks including the Aquadrome and Rickmansworth Park, as well as footpaths and alleyways. We identified 12 issues on our walk, such as faulty streetlights, poorly lit alleyways, and graffiti that need addressing.
“To warm up after our walk, we all enjoyed a complimentary hot drink kindly provided by Creams Café on the High Street. We’re now in the process of reviewing the information we collated and are working on solutions in partnership with our colleagues at the district council.”
Michelle Wright, Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager at Three Rivers District Council, said: “The Walk With A Cop scheme has really taken off not only for police and council staff but for the public that we serve. These walks mean we can feed back to the relevant agencies on a number of issues that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise, and consequently put various action plans in place. I am looking forward to joining the team for the next walk.”
There are plans for a second WWAC event to be held in January, and the details will be shared via the Online Watch Link (OWL) community messaging service. You can sign up to this free service by visiting the OWL website (opens in new window), or by downloading the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.
In the meantime if you have any concerns about personal safety in Three Rivers that you’d like to share with us promptly, you can do so via our online community feedback platform, echo (opens in new window). The echo dashboard is reviewed daily by the Safer Neighbourhood Team, who use the information submitted to shape their priorities and campaigns.
As part of the government’s strategy to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG), the Home Office are trialling a new online tool called StreetSafe (opens in new window) to encourage people, particularly women and girls, to anonymously pin-point locations where they feel or have felt unsafe, and the reasons for this.