Safe Zones launched in West Yorkshire Bus Stations

“Safe Zones” have launched in every staffed bus station in West Yorkshire to help protect passengers and passers-by.

11 March 2024

From left to right, Sergeant Richard Cotton, Lucy Wild - Security & Safer Travel Manager, PCSO Omar, Alison Lowe – Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Councillor Cathy Scott – Leader of Kirklees Council, Sharon Charlesworth - Crime Prevention Officer, PCSO Mobeen, Stephen Forrest - Crime Prevention Officer.

“Safe Zones” have launched in every staffed bus station in West Yorkshire to help protect passengers and passersby, it can be revealed.

Under the plans, anyone who feels unsafe or at risk of harm will be able to turn to specially trained members of staff for support.

The news follows the creation of a “Safer Travel” policing team, launched in partnership with West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin.

As the directly-elected Mayor, Mayor Brabin is responsible for setting the strategic direction of West Yorkshire Police, and has made more police officers and increased safety for women and girls’ the centrepiece of her vision for a safer, fairer region.

Joining the Safer Travel Team on a visit to Huddersfield Bus Station were Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE and the Leader of Kirklees Council Councillor Cathy Scott, who together launched their “regional mission” for a “Safe” West Yorkshire.

The mission will see West Yorkshire Police and regional leaders focused on cutting neighbourhood crime, reducing reoffending, raising people’s confidence in the police, and improving feelings of safety amongst women and girls.

Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “We’re dedicated to creating a safer, fairer West Yorkshire and this is the latest step.

“I would encourage anyone needing support to take advantage of the scheme, and the brilliant Safer Travel Team.”

Councillor Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “We're delighted to be launching the Safe Mission at Huddersfield Bus Station with this initiative which will undoubtedly make a real difference to local people.

“We are hugely committed to ensuring our residents and visitors are able to enjoy a safe environment and also have support available if they need it.

"We are working with the Mayor, the police and community safety partners to keep residents safe, and deliver the West Yorkshire Plan, in building a brighter region for everyone.”

The Safer Travel Team sees a dedicated group of 15 PCSOs, led by a police sergeant, patrolling bus stations and buses. They aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, increase the safety of women and girls, and reassure and protect vulnerable travel users.

West Yorkshire’s Safe Zones were originally launched by Kirklees District Crime Prevention Officers, Stephen Forrest and Sharon Charlesworth in 2022, and have seen over 240 zones created in Kirklees, followed today by the bus stations across West Yorkshire.

Stephen, said: “We know from very recent feedback from officers in Kirklees that staff at the zones in our communities have been exemplary when people have come in seeking help, showing real care and compassion.

“Businesses, local authority and 3rd sector partners involved have been tremendously supportive and it has been heartening to see so many people responding so positively to a concept designed to help those in need.

“The zones are an integral part of our ongoing work to make women and girls safer and we continue to seek to open more.”

The regional mission for a “safe West Yorkshire” is one of five recently announced as part of the “West Yorkshire Plan” – a collaboration between the Mayor and all five district council leaders. It will see a targeting of local investment and partnership working to boost jobs, housing and transport, cut crime, and achieve Net Zero.


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