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Northamptonshire PFCC Stephen Mold, commits to protecting women and girls and making the streets of Northampton safer. The Safer Nights Out van (SNOvan) is the first in a wider programme of initiatives being introduced in the town centre, and is providing practical and emotional support to women and girls who feel vulnerable on a night out.
Northamptonshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner launched the county’s first Safer Nights Out van (SNOvan) thanks to a successful bid to the Home Office’s Safer Women at Night fund. The bid submitted by the OPFCC detailed how the Commissioner plans to prevent crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls in public spaces at night and in the night-time economy.
The SNOvan, which provides a safe haven in the town centre is:
The SNOvan has been made possible with the support of West Northamptonshire Council who also received funding from the Home Office, the Community Safety Partnership and Northants Police. The SNOvan is operationally coordinated by the Northampton Guardians and Street Pastors who volunteer every Friday and Saturday night between 10pm and 5am.
In the latest Police, Fire and Crime Plan 2021 – 2026, Commissioner Stephen Mold says: “I will be asking the Chief Constable and partners to come together to find ways to tackle violent crime, with a special focus on violence against women and girls who may feel less safe and confident.”
Northants Live, Will Jefford (17 Dec 2021) Success as Safer Nights Out van comes to the aid of 150 people – Northants Live
Northants Chronicle and Echo, Carly Odell (23 Feb 2022) Deputy Lord Lieutenant spends evening with volunteers who run Northampton’s SNOvan | Northampton Chronicle and Echo
Dominic Goble DL JP praised the Northampton Guardians after joining them on the Safer Nights Out (SNO) van
“Last Friday night I took the opportunity to visit the SNOvan and walk alongside the Northampton Guardians as they delivered their own special kind of care and support. They are a dedicated and coordinated team of volunteers providing a service with much broader impact than is probably realised. “The interventions I witnessed focused on the individual’s needs and I am of the firm opinion that without the Guardians and the resources on the SNOvan the only possible outcomes for some of the people we saw would have involved police time or A&E. I offer my sincerest thanks to all involved in delivering this initiative.”
Message of thanks from Head Doorman @ The Boston, Northampton
“Please could you pass on my thanks to the CCTV Operator & The Guardians team for their quick response. At 06.00 while doing a toilet check I came across a locked cubicle door & no answer from the person inside… I forced the door in to find a female on the floor. She… had a serious medical issue. I immediately contacted CCTV asking for urgent medical assistance from the Guardians. They were despatched and arrived within minutes. Obviously a 999 call was done as well. But the relief I felt when the Guardians appeared alongside me to help until the paramedics arrived. It just shows what a great system/support/team we have in the town centre.”
“Awareness is growing, not just with service users but the door staff and venues too. The SNOvan provides a consistent, known safe place for service users to come for help for multiple issues, a place where our volunteers can offer initial medical assessment & treatment. It offers a place where we can protect anxious, vulnerable people, away from the night-time environment and its a location where people can meet back up with friends, wait to be collected or arrange a taxi to get home safely. The SNOvan allows us to have much more equipment to hand, such as first aid, personal safety products, water and other general welfare items. We simply could not offer the level of support we can offer today without the SNOvan.”
Northampton Street Pastors
“The SNOvan on the streets of Northampton has been a real asset to the night-time economy. As Street Pastors we have taken several vulnerable women to the van so that they can recover before heading home. It has also been really useful having a location where we can allow people to rest in a safe environment and to be able to talk.”