Report of Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change
Presentation by Owen Cleugh, Public Protection Manager
The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director Neighbourhoods and Climate Change which provided the Committee with background information regarding Durham City Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) (for copy see file of Minutes).
The Head of Community Protection Services gave a detailed presentation regarding the outcome of the fourth round of Safer Streets Funding Programme (for copy see file of Minutes).
With regards to reported incidents, Councillor Joe Quinn noted that the ‘other’ category had a high number of incidents at 222 and asked for clarification on the types of incidents. He also commented on whether it was known that all were welcome to the hub if they were in need.
In response to questions from Councillor Quinn, Owen Cleugh informed the Committee these were reported incidents such as a loss of a phone or someone feeling distressed. He added that a more accurate breakdown of these incidents could not be provided. In relation to awareness of the hub being open to all the Committee was informed that whilst the funding bid had been concerned with the safety of women, the staff were there to assist everyone.
Councillor David Sutton-Lloyd commented that he hadn’t appreciated just how vulnerable women felt on a night out, noting communication about the programme was key and praised the work being done.
Councillor Jake Miller noted the great work being done by the team and referred to a recent presentation at Police HQ, where he had been informed of challenges the Police had found in engaging with the University and asked had this programme experienced similar issues.
Owen Cleugh informed the Committee that Durham University had contributed toward The Hub in the City centre and advised that they had not experienced any issues with the information they had requested.
Superintendent Lee Gosling addressed the Committee noting he too was at the same presentation and confirmed that the difficulties in working with the University depended on the information being requested.
Councillor Dan Nicholls praised the work of the team, noting that the Durham economy does rely very heavily on the night life so the City needs to feel safe and questioned what the long term plans were for the programme.
In response to questions raised by Councillor Nicholls, Owen Cleugh noted that whilst everyone has been very generous the scheme did need to be more sustainable and that discussions around funding the programme had to begin to secure long term funding.
The Chair then informed the Committee that she had seen the work done by the team adding she had felt very safe when in Durham City and noted a very visible presence throughout the City.