A review of the night-time economy in Northampton and Kettering will begin by asking members of the public how the towns can become even safer on an evening out.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is working with several partners to improve the safety of people, particularly women and girls, at night. The public survey is set to kick start a new programme of works that are being delivered in partnership with Night Time Economy Solutions (NTES).
The survey will ask people why they visit the town centres, what kind of things they don’t like and what kind of experiences and venues they would like to see more of.
NTES is a company that finds creative solutions to enduring problems of safety in the night-time economy. As well as working with the Community Safety Partnership, it will deliver bespoke training sessions to police officers on women’s safety and policing the night-time economy, and work with Northampton BID to help venues diversify to not solely focus on late-night trading and alcohol sales.
It will also hold two overnight ‘audits’ in Northampton and Kettering to assess the safety of women at night, with a final report then offering recommendations for improvement and informing a new ‘Women’s Safety Charter’.
The work forms part of the Safer Streets scheme aiming to improve night-time safety in Kettering and Northampton, following a successful bid to the Home Office for almost £500,000 in funding from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Work will also include increasing the safety of pedestrians as they move about on a night out in Bridge Street in Northampton; improving lighting and installing alley gates; and introducing the Flare app so people can map areas where they feel unsafe.
ID scan technology will also let around 30 venues in Northampton and Kettering share information about people who behave inappropriately or dangerously, improving security for pubs and clubs that open past 1am.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “We’re doing everything we can to make sure that people who enjoy nights out in Kettering and Northampton feel as safe as they possibly can be.
“The funding we’ve secured from the Safer Streets scheme is delivering practical benefits to achieve this. But we also want to hear the views of people who use the night-time economy and understand how they think we can improve things further, and I would encourage everyone to fill in the survey if they can.”
Mark Mullen, Operations Manager for Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The night-time economy is vitally important to our town centre, and we want to ensure everyone is able to stay safe while enjoying themselves on a night out in Northampton. We look forward to working alongside our businesses and Northamptonshire Police as part of this review.”
The survey can be accessed here.