A late-night safety refuge offering protection to those who visit the city and need medical help on a night out will remain in place until Spring.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry is working with a range of partners to reduce crime and violence against women in Nottingham’s night-time economy.
Commissioner Henry secured over £250,000 from the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) Fund to deliver practical solutions to reduce the vulnerability of women in the area.
She has invested part of the funding in a new ‘Safe Space’ refuge area in the city centre where anyone, particularly women, can receive medical help and support if they find themselves in danger or at risk.
The Safe Space, run in partnership with first aid charity St John’s Ambulance on selected weekends, has already offered assistance to those out and about in the city centre since being launched in the run up to Christmas.
Individuals have sought help for a variety of issues including alcohol intoxication, assault-related injuries and help for pre-existing medical conditions.
Following the successful roll-out of the scheme, further Safe Space ‘drop-in’ services will now be available until March.
These facilities will be heavily signposted and publicised to ensure people know how to access it.
Commissioner Henry said: “We’ve had encouraging feedback about Safe Space and want to help other women who find themselves in vulnerable or risky circumstances on a night out.
“Nottingham already is a safe place to visit and Safe Space is helping us to make it even safer.
"This facility provides both reassurance and practical need and shows how committed we are to the wellbeing of women and everyone visiting our wonderful city.”
Safe Space is located in the Market Square and St John’s Ambulance volunteers will remain in direct contact with venues and Nottinghamshire Police during the evenings of operation, ready to offer support if needed.
The main aims of the SWaN fund are to reduce incidents of violence against women and girls in public spaces at night, reduce the fear of violence, and improve feelings of safety and build evidence on what works in improving women’s safety in public spaces.
Jade Quittenton, a community operations manager at St John Ambulance, said: “Our night-time economy programme offers safe treatment spaces where St John Ambulance teams provide medical help for revellers seeking help during a night out, and we’re seeing greater demand for our services as more suspected spiking incidents are reported.
“Having highly-trained first aiders and healthcare professionals on hand, close to pubs and clubs, means treatment is available when people need it most.
“Concerns around the rise in spikings is one of the reasons we’re accelerating the rollout of our support for safer nights out across England.
“Our volunteers can care for anyone who’s worse for wear, sick or injured, and take people to the Emergency Department if they need that, but we also relieve support on health services by preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.
“More than that, we can signpost to other services, provide some much-needed TLC and – importantly - provide safe spaces for anyone vulnerable to wait for transportation home rather than leaving them waiting on dark streets.”