Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has successfully bid for nearly £1 million to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the latest round of the government’s Safer Streets funding scheme.

Mrs Bourne said: “The events of the past few weeks have brought the epidemic of male violence against women into sharp focus but we also have to acknowledge that this is a deep-rooted and ongoing societal problem.

“My office has worked consistently over the past nine years to secure and distribute funding to help make our streets and communities safer for everyone and for women and girls in particular.

“Today, we have successfully secured nearly £1m from the Government’s latest Safer Streets fund to tackle violence against women and girls and to support education, awareness and behaviour change programmes across Sussex. 

“I am delighted that Sussex has been awarded the fourth highest amount of any area in the country. My team will work alongside Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council to implement a series of training programmes in schools teaching young people about the importance of healthy relationships and how to address sexism and misogyny. The monies will also allow me to invest further in lighting, cctv and volunteer street pastors and beach patrols as well as co-ordinating and driving an effective and lasting response to male violence against women and girls.”

Funding has been provided for the following initiatives:

PRIMARY BID – Sussex-wide (£549,494)

  • ‘Healthy Relationships’ sessions for year 8 students at Sussex secondary schools – focusing on harassment, toxic masculinity and misogyny;
  • ‘Bystander to upstander’ sessions focusing on supporting attendees to feel more confident in recognising and challenging unacceptable and misogynistic behaviour;
  • additional funding for Street Pastors/Street Angels/beach patrol schemes in Rye, Eastbourne, Worthing, East Grinstead, Billingshurst;
  • ‘Make her feel safe’ campaign addressing men’s and boys’ behaviour, aiming to challenge the current narrative and help bring about change;
  • recruitment of 3 VAWG Community Navigators for 12 months to support all VAWG campaign activity in Sussex, including supporting and training community safe spaces for the Sussex Safe Spaces App currently in development;
  • Purchase of eight re-deployable CCTV units to be used across the county in areas identified of concern.

SECONDARY BID – Hastings, Eastbourne, Angmering and Brighton (£427,288)

  • Hastings: Alexandra Park – improvements to be made including lighting, CCTV, signage
  • Eastbourne: Gildredge Park – additional lighting
  • Angmering: Mayflower Park – additional lighting
  • Brighton: War Memorial, Old Steine & Pavilion Gardens – installation of additional lighting and CCTV