Spotlight on safety in Rugby town centre

Action to make Rugby town centre a safer place will be in the spotlight on Saturday.
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A special event takes place at St Andrew's Gardens, in Church Street, from 11am to 3pm, this Saturday, September 9.

There will be chance to speak with representatives from the borough council, the police, Rugby First and the county council, about action that has been taken to improve safety.

The gardens recently underwent a revamp following a successful bid for government funding by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.

St Andrew's Gardens will be the focus of Saturday's event highlighting steps to improve safety in Rugby town centre.St Andrew's Gardens will be the focus of Saturday's event highlighting steps to improve safety in Rugby town centre.
St Andrew's Gardens will be the focus of Saturday's event highlighting steps to improve safety in Rugby town centre.

The borough council selected the site after it was frequently identified as a location of concern by women and girls who took part in a Safer Streets survey conducted in 2021.

Work carried out in the gardens and on the public footpaths leading to the site includes ground-level, solar-powered lights to illuminate the paths, new and improved LED lamppost lighting - and new and improved CCTV.

Residents can also find out about the borough council's rollout of the national Enough and Ask for Angela campaigns in Rugby, which aim to challenge abusive behaviour towards women and girls - and help make people feel safe on a night out.

Enough tackles behaviour in all situations, while Ask for Angela is the campaign being promoted in licensed premises.

Anyone who feels vulnerable, threatened or unsafe, can approach a member of staff at a venue and ask for 'Angela'.

Those venues taking part will make their involvement clear through a sign or poster and will have a trained member of staff who can help.

Saturday's community event starts with a litter pick at 11am and also includes live music, as well as the chance to speak to people

The borough council’s chief officer for regulation and safety, David Burrows,, said: “We work with partners such as the police and the county council to carry out community safety initiatives in the borough, with the improvements to lighting and CCTV at St Andrew's Gardens just the latest example.

“Our community safety work relies on the involvement and support of our communities, and Saturday's event offers residents the chance to raise issues of concern and find out how we're working to make Rugby's streets safe.”

The 2021 survey saw more than 700 girls and women aged 11 and older respond, with three-fifths of respondents saying they had experienced unwanted attention or harassment in a public place in the previous 12 months.

Survey respondents gave in some cases detailed accounts of harassment, unwanted attention and sexual advances.

Incidents took place at all times of day, with the most incidents reported between 2 and 4pm. Incidents also commonly occurred during the lunchtime and tea time periods of noon to 2pm and 6 to 8pm.

Half of respondents told the council that they felt safe on their own in Rugby town centre.

This figure rose to 85 per cent of respondents who said that they felt safe in the town centre when with female friends.

And 57 per cent felt safe walking to and from their local shops, school or college or place of work.