Council signs charter prioritising women's safety at night

A cross-party motion supporting the London Mayor's Women's Night Safety Charter has been put forward to Redbridge Council. 

A cross-party motion supporting the London Mayor's Women's Night Safety Charter has been put forward to Redbridge Council. - Credit: PA

A cross-party motion is calling for night-time businesses to join Redbridge Council in signing the Mayor of London's Women's Night Safety Charter. 

The motion was put forward by Cllr Ruth Clark (Con, Fairlop) and seconded by Cllr Vanisha Solanki (Lab, Fullwell)

It follows the death of Sarah Everard, whose body was found in Kent woodland on March 10, a week after she went missing in Clapham.

The motion will go to full council on Thursday, March 25.

Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham on March 3.

The council is launching a borough-wide listening exercise following the tragic death of Sarah Everard. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

The council is launching a borough-wide listening exercise which will take the form of a survey and a series of online events.

Women and girls will be invited to share their experiences and vocalise what action they believe is needed to help them feel safe.

Redbridge Town Hall lit up orange in memory of Sarah Everard

Redbridge Town Hall lit up orange in a message about women's safety - Credit: LDRS

Stalking and harassment increased by 15pc in Redbridge last year, with 1,811 reports in the 12 months up to September 2020.

Cllr Clark said it was disappointing that it had taken three years for the council to adopt the charter after it was first introduced in 2018 by the London mayor.

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"Nevertheless, this is a step forward for women's safety," she added.

On signing up to the charter, council leader Jas Athwal said: "We are sending a powerful signal to local women that their safety is our top priority and to abusers and violent offenders that their behaviour will not be tolerated."

To support the charter, all organisations are asked to sign up to a number of pledges.

These include nominating a champion who actively promotes women’s night safety and demonstrating to staff and customers that the organisation takes women’s safety at night seriously.

Other pledges are to tell customers and staff what to do if they experience harassment when working, going out or travelling, training staff on recording reports and designing public spaces and work places to make them safer for women at night.

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