A major police drive has been launched to help women and female students feel safer when they are out in Huddersfield town centre.

More police patrols in student areas, the launch of a new student safety bus, safety advice and the launch of Safe Zones for women in Huddersfield are among a host of initiatives launched by Kirklees Police to mark a week of action to make women safer. 

Activity by West Yorkshire Police has now begun across the county to support the Violence Against Women and Girls week of action including initiatives in Kirklees with partners including Safer Kirklees and the University of Huddersfield.  

Work with the university to make female students safer includes special high visibility police patrols in student areas and the deployment of a Safety Lounge night safety bus in the town centre to support Freshers Week and future student nights.

The bus will be staffed by police, and partners including workers from Locala, CHART and Safer Kirklees to provide help and support to students in the town centre night time economy.

Meanwhile, police are also expanding a ‘Safe Zones’ scheme which is already operating in Huddersfield, and are looking for public buildings and businesses in Dewsbury to take part.

Safe Zones are areas where a woman or child could step off the street if they feel they are being followed until the risk has passed, or they might wish to charge their phone and call a friend or parent.  

They may wish to use the Ask For Angela scheme and present a card to staff asking them to call somebody on their behalf.

Special stickers are placed in Safe Zone areas which include Huddersfield’s bus and railway stations, Kirklees College, the university and Huddersfield BID offices.

READ MORE: What is the Ask for Angela scheme?

Alongside prevention work, officers are also carrying out arrest enquiries for men wanted for crimes of violence against women.

Det Chief Insp Marie Bulmer, of Kirklees Police, said: “A significant amount of work continues in Kirklees to make women and girls safer and I want to thank our partners for the huge contributions they are making during this week of action.

“A key part of making our communities safer is, of course, to prevent crime from ever taking place, and we believe these initiatives, including those with the University of Huddersfield, will make females feel safer and hopefully prevent criminal activity.

“Colleagues from across West Yorkshire Police are carrying out operations across the force this week and we want to make it very clear in Kirklees that any form of violent act towards females here will not be tolerated.

“We strongly urge anyone who has been a victim of violent offending, including domestic abuse, and who hasn’t come forwards to do so.”

Katie Tucker, community officer at Huddersfield Students’ Union, said: “As a Students’ Union we are grateful for the police’s keen interest in the prevention of violence against women and girls. 

“Student safety is a huge priority and it is reassuring to see such active work on this issue, prevention of violence against women and girls is crucial work that is deeply appreciated by our student body.  

“The safety bus launch during HudCrawl was a big success and student feedback reflected how reassuring this resource was in the night-time economy setting.”