Men fined for 'cat-calling' women from their cars in bid to make Bradford's streets safer

Police in Bradford have fined more than a dozen men for so-called 'catcalling' women from their cars as part of a pioneering crackdown aimed to make women feel safer walking the city's streets.

ITV News was given exclusive access to the latest in a series of operations this week.

It makes use of a first-of-its-kind Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) brought in by Bradford Council, which prohibits drivers from causing alarm, harassment or distress.

The patrols were launched after West Yorkshire Police received reports that women were being harassed by drivers near the University of Bradford before Christmas.

Patrols were launched after West Yorkshire Police received reports of women being harassed near the University of Bradford before Christmas.

It followed on from the nationwide Reclaim the Streets protests in response to violence against women including the killing of Sarah Everard by a serving Met Police officer in London.

Detective Superintendent Tanya Wilkins, of Bradford District Police, said: "Women should be able to walk the streets without inappropriate comments being made by men and what I also find is that this inappropriate behaviour can sometimes be a catalyst for other serious offences against women."

In the last six months, police have been deployed on operations - some of which have included the use of plain clothes officers - around the city's university 18 times.

During that time they have fined 21 people for PSPO breaches, including 13 for inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls and eight for antisocial driving.

Six arrests have been made, 72 traffic offences have been reported and 19 vehicles seized.

The PSPO covers the entire Bradford district and will be in place for at least the next three years.

Councillor Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council, said: "The work we are doing in partnership with the police and University of Bradford is vital in putting a stop to the harassment and intimidation coming from a small number of people.

"We need to send out a strong message that this sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”

West Yorkshire Police say their proactive patrols of the area will continue over the coming months, while those leading them hope the work can inspire other forces and local authorities elsewhere in the UK to follow their lead.

Det Supt Wilkins added: "This is not just a Bradford thing - this is a national problem. My aim is that other forces will look at what we’re doing as we are leading the way and I want other forces to share our knowledge so that hopefully this can have this country-wide, which will increase public confidence and raise awareness to men that this is inappropriate behaviour and it will be dealt with."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.