Residents’ help sought to shape the way Edinburgh addresses women’s safety in public places

Women's safety consultation

Edinburgh’s residents are being encouraged to have their say on what makes them feel safe or unsafe when out and about in the Capital and what they think could improve this.

The Women’s Safety in Public Places Community Improvement Partnership (WSPP CIP) has launched a new consultation on what makes Edinburgh residents, especially girls and women and vulnerable people, feel safe or unsafe in Edinburgh’s public spaces.

Recognising that making spaces safer for women, makes them safer for everyone, views are being sought on where people feel safe or unsafe and why, as well as what they think could be done to improve feelings and perception of safety. Findings will inform future plans to make Edinburgh ‘Safer by Design’.

Last year a report on Women’s Safety in Public Places was presented to the Policy and Sustainability Committee (30 November 2021). The report presented information from a number of teams within the Council, including Community Safety, 20-Minute Neighbourhoods and the Equally Safe Edinburgh Committee and proposed a range of actions to support and promote the safety of women and girls across the capital. One of the first activities to drive forward the actions is a consultation into girls’ and women’s feelings about safety in public spaces in Edinburgh.

The Women’s Safety in Public Places Community Improvement Partnership was assembled in January 2022 consisting of representatives from the Council and Police Scotland and this consultation will now run for 12 weeks.

Councillor Mandy Watt, Depute Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

We recognise that some women and girls do not feel safe in public places. We are working to identify what makes particular areas and places feel safe or unsafe and what city partners can do to improve this.

Women consider personal safety constantly in their everyday lives, from meeting and socialising with friends, to travelling on public transport and walking home. Recent murders of women in public spaces sparked a national conversation about how women feel unsafe and alter their behaviours to keep safe and the partnership is committed to addressing this in the Capital.

Edinburgh prides itself on being an inclusive, diverse and welcoming city but there is no denying that like other cities in the UK more can be done to make our residents feel safe. This consultation is vital with responses helping to inform the future of how we develop and improve public spaces across the whole of the Edinburgh area, from the design of roads and pathways to the layout of parks and shopping areas and more.

We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to make residents feel safe in their city. I would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation so that their feedback is at the heart of developing Edinburgh.

The Partnership will use the findings from the consultation to inform their report and recommendations to bring back to the Council later this year. Combined with data from Police Scotland, this report will help to inform future place-making and development plans for Edinburgh on how to make the city safer for all.

The online consultation is hosted on the City of Edinburgh Council - Citizen Space. It is open for 12 weeks from Monday 27 June 2022 to 20 September 2022.

Published: June 28th 2022