Funding secured to improve safety for women and girls in Woking


Tuesday, 12 October, 2021

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Lisa Townsend, has secured nearly £175,000 in government funding to help improve safety for women and girls in Woking.

The ‘Safer Streets’ funding will help Woking Borough Council, Surrey Police and other local partners enhance security measures along a stretch of the Basingstoke Canal after a bid was submitted earlier this year.

The money will go towards:

  • installing extra CCTV cameras and signage along the canal footpath
  • the removal of foliage and graffiti to improve visibility
  • purchase four e-bikes for community and police patrols along the canal.

Since July 2019, there have been a number of incident exposures and suspicious incidents towards women and young girls in the area.

The Council remains committed to supporting all its residents and welcomes the designated canal neighbourhood watch, set up by local police, named 'Canal Watch', and part of the Safer Streets funding will support this initiative.

Cllr Debbie Harlow, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “Women and girls, along with everyone in our community, have the right to feel safe, whether that’s on our streets, in our public spaces or recreational areas.

“I welcome the announcement of this crucial government funding that will go a long way in providing additional security measures along the Basingstoke Canal towpath, in addition to supporting the ongoing Canal Watch initiative.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend said: “Ensuring we improve safety for women and girls in Surrey is one of my key priorities so I am delighted we have secured this crucial funding for the project in Woking.

“During my first week in office back in May, I joined the local policing team along the Basingstoke Canal to see first-hand the challenges they have in making this area safe for everyone to use.

“Sadly, there have been a number of incidents of indecent exposure which have targeted women and girls using the canal path in Woking.

“Our police teams have been working really hard with our local partners to tackle this issue. I hope this extra funding will go a long way to supporting that work and will help make a real difference to the community in that area.

“The Safer Streets Fund is an excellent initiative by the Home Office and I was particularly pleased to see this round of funding have a focus on enhancing the safety of women and girls in our neighbourhoods.

“This is a really important issue to me as your PCC and I am absolutely determined to make sure my office continues to work with Surrey Police and our partners to find ways to make our communities even safer for everyone.” 

For more information, visit the Surrey Police website.