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Kirklees Council will spend £46,000 on making Huddersfield’s Greenhead Park and Dewsbury’s Crown Nest Park safer spaces for women and girls.

The council confirmed on Wednesday that it has secured the money through the government’s Safer Streets Fund.

It said the funds will be spent on schemes which aim to prevent crime from happening in the parks and to “reduce safety fears – particularly for women and girls.”

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Plans could include cutting back vegetation to improve visibility as well as installing improved lighting and better signage.

Training or mentoring for crime prevention activities could also be included.

Crow Nest Park
Crow Nest Park

It is hoped the influx of money will help to improve the general look and feel of both parks as well as encourage more women’s groups to use the spaces.

The funding was secured after West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police (WYP) made a successful partnership bid, coordinated by metro mayor Tracy Brabin.

A total of £665,000 has been awarded to the county as a whole, with £46,000 allocated to Kirklees.

Councillor Carole Pattison, cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities, said: “I am pleased we will be able to make enhancements to Greenhead Park and Crow Nest Park.

“The funding will ensure they are welcoming places, with spaces where everyone feels safe.

“The safety of everyone using our parks is always an absolute priority. Officers from Safer Kirklees and WYP walk through the parks regularly to support this.

“Fortunately, incidents in our parks are rare, but nevertheless anything we can do to enhance crime prevention and the feeling of safety, especially for women and girls, is greatly valued and this funding will go a long way to achieving that.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners and the ‘friends of’ groups to ensure any potential hotspots are identified and appropriate work is carried out.

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“This work will leave a legacy of insights. We can apply the insights to future design or redevelopment of our public spaces for crime prevention and improved safety.

“Sadly, the national picture shows women and girls are disproportionately likely to experience certain types of crimes – like sexual and verbal harassment.

“So, as well as the improvements we’re making in public spaces, I’d also like to remind women of the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign which many of our town centre evening entertainment venues are supporting.

“If you feel unsafe on a night out whilst in one of these venues, you can approach staff and ask for Angela. They will discreetly help you out of the situation.”

West Yorkshire mayor, Tracy Brabin, said: “Improving the safety of women and girls is a fundamental pledge of mine, as well as that of my Deputy for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe. I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to secure this substantial funding.

“In addition, I would like to thank WYP, the local authorities and women and girl groups for all their work on the bids in conjunction with my office. I look forward to working together to deliver them.”

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