Skip to main content

Safer Streets session teaches self-defence


07 March 2023
Holyhead Safer Streets Exercise Session

Officers from North Wales Police (NWP) recently held a boxercise session for women and girls in Holyhead Leisure Centre as part of the Safer Streets initiative. The aim of the session was to promote women’s safety and self-confidence and further build on the good relationship between the Force and the local community.

Twenty members of the public joined the free session, which was funded by money from the Safer Streets initiative. Also in attendance was Virginia Crosbie, Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn, as well as officers from the Force. The session was held to give women and girls in the area an opportunity to learn self-defence tactics. A series of exercise sessions have been planned for adults as well as individual sessions for children and teenagers, to be delivered in primary and secondary schools respectively.

The Safer Streets Fund is a £75 million Home Office programme that encourages Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities to bid for investment for initiatives to prevent neighbourhood crime. The aim of the project is to support areas experiencing crime across England and Wales, such as domestic burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB), and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces, including in the night-time economy.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s team worked closely with North Wales Police, local authorities, schools, justice services and third sector partners to ensure the bid had as much support as possible across the areas receiving funding.

The town of Holyhead was one of the recipients of the fourth round of Safer Streets funding, alongside Wrexham and Deeside. The Holyhead project has seen £692,149 go towards improved street lighting in around the town centre and the installation of 21 CCTV cameras as well as the planned provision of target hardening and crime prevention packs for 250 properties to help prevent neighbourhood crime; and provision of high visibility police patrols to help tackle and prevent VAWG offences and ASB as part of night-time economy.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “I am pleased to see the funding we have received from Safer Streets go towards practical sessions to help women feel safer in the community. It has been my aim since I was elected as PCC to ensure that the residents of North Wales are safe and I’m pleased that we are putting measures in place to keep women safe in Holyhead and elsewhere across the region.

“The Safer Streets project in Holyhead is another example of how hard work and close collaboration between Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner North Wales staff and local partners has resulted in a successful outcome. I’d like to thank all those involved for all their ongoing work.”

North Wales Police Area Chief Inspector Robert Rands stated: “The session not only gave North Wales Police officers the opportunity to build upon our existing good relationship with the public but to relay the important message of the Safer Streets initiative and to show how funding from the project it is being put to good use in the community of Holyhead, especially to keep women safe. Sessions continue until September taking place with different age groups through the education authority as well as with more adult public sessions.”

Member of Parliament for Ynys Môn Virginia Crosbie said: “I am really pleased to see some of the UK Government’s Safer Streets funding going into self-defence sessions for women. The island recently received £692,000 from the fund to do good like this and it was a pleasure to get involved and learn some skills myself. It also shows the Government is committed to combating violence against women and girls. Many thanks to North Wales Police for organising the event.”