Just three percent of people feel safe at night in Wiltshire according to police survey

More than nineteen out of twenty people say they feel unsafe being out in Wiltshire at night, according to a new survey.

Just 3% of almost 2,800 respondents said they felt safe at night in the county, in a questionnaire set up by police and local government bodies.

The results also showed that drunken behaviour and large groups of people were among the most significant reasons for people feeling uncomfortable, with women making up the majority of responses.

More than a fifth (21%) of those surveyed said they had been a victim of crime at night, with many deeming it not serious enough to report it.

Almost three quarters (74%) said they would feel safer if there was a police presence in towns and busy areas.

The survey, launched by Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) Philip Wilkinson, in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, was commissioned to shape a charter with the aim of making public spaces safer for all at night.

The results will now be used to help put together bids for safer streets funding, which can be used for projects including more street lighting and extra CCTV.

The commissioner has also pledged to increase police numbers and ensure officers are more visible in communities, as well as to improve the quality of policing in those communities.

Philip Wilkinson said: “The results from the survey show the importance of the Safety at Night Charter so we can continue our work towards making Wiltshire safer - in line with the priorities within my Police and Crime Plan and which our residents helped to shape.

“Only by working with residents and late-night establishments will we be able to effectively make public spaces at night safer for all and that is why it is so important for us to understand what practical steps we can take as a collective.

“It is important this charter is fit-for-purpose and encompasses all those who use public spaces at night, be it those who socialise in bars and clubs or perhaps work in the night-time economy, travel home from work, exercise, travel home from visiting friends and family and all the other reasons in between.”

While Wiltshire's Charter will focus on reducing violence against women and girls, it also aims to make everyone who uses public spaces at night feel safe.

Businesses that are part of the night-time economy such as bars, pubs, clubs and taxis will be encouraged to voluntarily sign up to the charter from the end of this month.