University of Hertfordshire leads local partnership to improve safety on the streets of Hatfield

1 March 2022

The University of Hertfordshire is working with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Hertfordshire, and Hertfordshire County Council, to improve safety in the local area for students and the wider community.

The partnership secured over £500,000 of Home Office funding in 2021 as part of the Government’s Safer Streets programme to carry out a number of projects in Hatfield, with a focus on preventing violence against women and girls.

The funding has enabled the University to purchase personal safety alarms for the most vulnerable members of its community, and deliver a planned programme of active bystander training – equipping staff and students with the skills and confidence to challenge unacceptable behaviours.

The funding also allows the University to purchase vouchers for the Hollie Guard Extra personal safety app, which will be made available to vulnerable students and staff. This mobile app offers a 24/7 dedicated emergency response service, as well as location monitoring, emergency contact notifications and in-built deterrents, giving users the confidence to travel safely.

Geraldine Ward, Dean of Students at the University, commented: “Coming to university is an exciting and enjoyable experience, but we understand students and their families have concerns about safety – especially for those moving away from home for the first time.

“I’m proud that the University is part of the Safer Streets programme in Hatfield, working closely with our colleagues at the PCC and Hertfordshire County Council to reduce risks, and give students confidence and support as they travel around the local area. Our students make up a significant part of the community in Hatfield, so it was important that their concerns were included in this project”.

Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Andrew Palfreyman said: “I welcome this news and our dedicated University Policing Team will be working hard to support students with any concerns about safety. I hope that these extra measures to keep women and girls safe provide peace of mind. Within Welwyn Hatfield and across the county, we remain committed to tackling violence against women and girls.”

This partnership gives additional reassurance to students and staff on top of the measures already in place at the University, which include a dedicated University Policing Team, 24/7 security, and extensive student support and wellbeing teams. More information can be found on our Student Safety web pages.

This week the University is also running a Wellbeing and Safety Week for students, with a range of events and resources to support students in feeling safe, healthy and secure throughout their time at university – covering everything from fire safety to mental health & wellbeing.

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