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Emergency help points now active

New ‘help points’ have been installed in and around the city centre, Barbican and Mutley as part of a package of measures to make people, especially women and girls, feel safer.

The well-lit help points are located near new and existing CCTV sites, offering increased surveillance in areas of higher footfall where there is a perceived fear of crime, as well as statistically higher crime rates.

Anyone who activates them is automatically connected to the Council’s 24/7 CCTV control room, which has direct links to enforcement colleagues, the police and Plymouth Against Retail Crime team.

Lighting will brighten on activation and cameras nearby will move to pick up the help points so staff in the control room can monitor a situation while an appropriate emergency response is on its way.

The help points are part of a package of measures awarded Safer Streets 3 funding from the Home Office to target violent crime against women and girls and improve feelings of safety by:

  • strengthening the local environment to improve safe passage
  • targeting prevention
  • helping the community to develop their own solutions, reclaim community spaces and improve guardianship.

They have been installed at the following locations, selected as they are high footfall areas with shops, bars or local schools nearby.

  • Armada Way (near the sundial)
  • High Street Primary Academy, Stonehouse
  • King Street Pharmacy, Stonehouse
  • Mayflower Street (at the Armada Way junction)
  • Mutley Plain (outside Starbucks)
  • North Hill (outside Spar)
  • Royal Parade (Armada Way pedestrian crossing)
  • Southside Street (at Friary’s Lane junction)
  • Union Street (one outside Lidl and another on The Octagon)
  • West Hoe Park

A help point is also due to be installed outside the Crown and Anchor pub on the Barbican.

Councillor Rebecca Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities and Chair of the Violence Against Women and Girls Commission, said: “We want everybody, especially women and girls, to feel safe when they walk around Plymouth’s streets. These help points are just one the practical measures we have introduced to improve public safety and hopefully reassure people as they go about their business, whether they are shopping, enjoying a night out or just getting from A to B.”

Councillor Jonathan Drean, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “We worked with partners and the police to agree locations for the new help points and areas around the city centre, waterfront, Mutley and North Hill were selected as they see high footfall, in particular during the evening.”

The Home Office award was secured via a partnership bid by the Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, NSPCC, Eddystone Trust, University of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association and Street Pastors.