Safety project launched to protect women and change the behaviour of men in the North East

Northumbria PCC
'Fun without fear' campaign poster Credit: Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

A new region-wide campaign has been launched to promote women’s safety at night.

“Fun without fear” is a new awareness project from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, and Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland. 

It is all about speaking up for the rights of women across the area and aims to promote behaviour change in men, encourage reporting and signpost victims to help and support. 

Since the murder of Sarah Everard from York, male violence against women has been made an urgent national priority.

Kim McGuinness wants to see the North East leading a change.

Backed by all six local authorities and Northumbria Police, it focuses on women’s safety in the night-time economy and ensuring they are supported.

Posters can be found in public spaces as well as digital and social media channels. It features information on how to get support as well as messages around zero tolerance and reassurance that action is being taken. 

The project also features vulnerability training for those working in the night time economy - delivered by Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit and the expansion of Northumbria Police’s Operation Cloak, which protects vulnerable party-goers and catch offenders.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: "I love that cities and towns across our region are known for offering the best night out; this campaign is about making sure we are the safest too. Women have the right to feel safe whatever they are doing; whether they are on the dance floor or walking home from work.

"This is us coming together to say that we just won’t stand for it in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. Being grabbed, followed, touched up – whatever - it’s all very, very wrong."

Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison said: "We fully support this campaign which builds on the extensive work we do with partners to ensure our region remains one of the safest in the country to enjoy a night out.

"We are very clear that any form of harassment, inappropriate behaviour and other sexual offending is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"We would urge anyone who has been a victim to come forward – we are here for you, we will support you and we are committed to bringing offenders to justice."

The campaign has been funded following a successful bid to the Home Office’s ‘Safety of Women at Night’ Fund.