Barking and Dagenham hotspots identified where women feel unsafe
- Credit: Ken Mears
Four places in Barking and Dagenham have been named hotspots where women report not feeling safe.
Barking Station, Barking town centre, Station Parade and Heathway in Dagenham were identified in a public survey carried out by the town hall.
People loitering, poor lighting, drug and alcohol use are the four things fuelling fears, according to the study.
The result led the local authority to urge pubs, cafes, shops and businesses to sign up to a safe haven scheme.
Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: "We have listened to residents and we’re now acting on it.
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"We want Barking and Dagenham to be a safe place for residents to live and work. The safe haven scheme is just one of our many steps to ensure this."
A spokesperson for rail operator c2c said Barking station is staffed around the clock by its staff and security teams as well as being awarded secure station status by the British Transport Police.
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"We would be interested in taking part in any new initiative that can help improve both passenger safety and public perceptions," he added.
Those signing up to the safe haven scheme agree to offer their premises as a refuge for anyone feeling threatened, harassed, unwell, in danger or vulnerable.
Places which sign up will be listed on a register on the council website.
Havens will let people inside; keep out those posing a threat; give individuals somewhere to feel safe; call an emergency service, friend or family member or give directions or information about public transport.
Each establishment will receive a safe haven sticker to be displayed in a window.
The council is also producing cards showing a name and contact details for someone who can be contacted if anyone needs help.
These will be available to download from the council website or can be collected from council buildings.
Cllr Saima Ashraf, deputy leader and cabinet member for community leadership and engagement, said: "This has shown us what is possible using the Citizen’s Alliance Network and how residents can come together to share their views on how to improve our borough.
"Nearly 800 people took part in some way which is incredible. I can assure everyone who took part we will be using all the information to make the borough a better and safer place."
In total, 282 people participated with 408 pins dropped on a map to show places where women felt unsafe.
The council is asking people to take part in a survey about the premises, days and times safe havens could be most beneficial.
The closing date is Monday, June 21.
The Post has contacted c2c, which manages Barking Station, for comment.