Number Forty provides safe space in town centre
The doors are opening to a new town centre safe space which will provide a haven for people on a night out who feel vulnerable, unwell or have been a victim of crime.
Number Forty, on Skinnergate, will be open from 9pm-3am on Friday and Saturday nights, starting on 2 September.
It will be staffed by trained security staff and street paramedics will be on hand to provide first aid and medical support to those who need it.
Number Forty is supported by the Darlington Safer Streets partnership, which includes the council, Durham police and crime commissioners office, and Durham Constabulary. It is just one of a number of recent initiatives implemented to increase safety and the feeling of safety, particularly among women and girls in the town centre.
As part of the Number Forty launch, representatives from organisations involved in the project added their thoughts about what makes a safe space and what they hope Number Forty will achieve to a wish tree which will continue to grow in the centre as more people visit and add their thoughts to it.
Jonathan Dulston, leader of the council, said: “We are working closely with the police and other partners to ensure that people feel safe in our town.
“We know that the town centre can sometimes be an intimidating place at night, especially for women and girls, and that is where Number Forty comes in.
“By providing somewhere safe to go if people feel vulnerable or need help we can send out a powerful message that we look after the residents of our town and threatening, anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Inspector Dean Haythornthwaite, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “As a partnership, we have been working hard to help keep people safe, while making the streets a more hostile place for people looking to commit offences.
“The opening of Number Forty is another significant step forward in our aim to make Darlington as a safe as possible for everyone, particularly women and girls.”
County Durham and Darlington Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen said: “Darlington is already a wonderful and safe place to enjoy an evening out and I am determined to make it even safer.
“The addition of Number Forty in the town centre will help to increase public confidence and reduce the fear of crime by providing a space where people can access help if they are feeling at risk or vulnerable. Just knowing this service exists will provide reassurance to local people, especially women and girls, and increase their enjoyment of the town, which is exactly what the ‘Safer People’ priority in my Police and Crime Plan aims to deliver.
“I am proud to be working together with our local partners on the Safer Streets initiative. This project is a fine example of the improvements that can be achieved by organisations working together towards a common goal.”
Safer Streets is a UK-wide Government initiative that has seen County Durham and Darlington receive over £ 1.5m over the last 18 months to make the region safer through a variety of projects.
“ By providing somewhere safe to go if people feel vulnerable or need help we can send out a powerful message that we look after the residents of our town and threatening, anti-social and criminal behaviour will not be tolerated. ”
- Jonathan Dulston, leader of the council