The Council and democracy Women's Night-time Safety Toolkit

Commitment 7 - Designing for safety

Here are some steps to take to reduce the risk of incidents occuring:

  • Check that all CCTV and lighting is functioning correctly. 
  • Assess your provision of accessible and gender-neutral bathrooms. 
  • Commission an access audit of your buildings and spaces and publish the findings online and in a printed form. 
  • Commission a safety audit of your buildings and spaces and publish the findings online and in a printed form. 
  • Attend meetings with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

How can I adapt my space to make it feel safer? 

If your organisation manages its own spaces, these should always be designed with health and safety in mind. The additional daily ‘safety planning’ that many women report having to undertake to remain alert against unwelcome sexual behaviour tells us that further steps need to be taken. 

Questions to consider:

  • Does your premises’ layout support a woman’s ability to move around or leave an area easily? 
  • Are there sufficiently lit paths and appropriate levels of CCTV and do all staff understand who is responsible for using, maintaining, and sharing this data? 
  • Can you designate a ‘quiet’ space in case staff or customers need some medical assistance or space to recover from an incident?

In addition to this, designing for safety can include how you allocate your human resources. 

  • Are staff, including any security, positioned equally throughout the spaces you manage? 
  • How well-lit are the indoor and outdoor spaces you’re responsible for? 
  • Would your CCTV be able to record any incident on site? Do you record sound? 
  • Can you confidently say your space is accessible for wheelchair-users, deaf people, and people with disabilities?
  • Can you confidently say that those who would prefer to use a gender-neutral bathroom would be able to find one in your building? 

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