Call for Flintshire fire stations to be used as ‘safe spaces’ for women who feel unsafe > News

Job : Thu 27 January 2022

A call has been made for fire stations in Flintshire to be made available as ‘safe spaces’ for women who feel unsafe.

The suggestion came in the wake of several high-profile cases of violence against women, including the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard last year.

The incidents have sparked a debate about women’s safety, leading some UK fire services to offer their jobs to anyone in need of a safe place.

In November, the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service announced an open door policy for people who feel vulnerable or are fleeing domestic violence.

The idea of ​​replicating it in Flintshire was raised at a council meeting on Tuesday January 25, 2022, where politicians discussed local issues with North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin.

Hope Councilor Gladys Healey said she had noticed similar schemes in parts of England and thought it would help women in the county feel safer.

She said: “I see you are dealing with domestic abuse which I am quite happy with as domestic abuse is on the rise especially during Covid.

“I believe that in England, any woman who feels in danger can go to the fire brigade.

“They can just walk in and ask for help if they’re not near a police station.

“What are we doing in Flintshire about this? »

In response to Cllr Healey’s comments, Mr Dunbobbin said he was aware of some Flintshire pubs introducing initiatives to help women stay safe.

It includes the Ask for Angela program which allows anyone who feels at risk to discreetly report to bar staff for help.

The North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has now said it is willing to consider Cllr Healey’s application.

In a statement released to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Deputy Fire Officer Helen MacArthur, said: “We are committed to protecting our communities as a whole – especially those that may be most vulnerable.

“While we do not yet have any confirmed plans to turn our fire stations into ‘shelters’, we will consider this and other similar options in the future.

“Keeping our communities safe is a priority for us – and as part of that commitment, we have been supporting White Ribbon events for a number of years with colleagues completing Ambassador or Champion training by pledging to never commit, condone or remain silent about male violence against women.

“All staff have received training in accordance with the National Training Framework on Violence Against Women, Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence and Safeguarding Training.”

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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