Lots of young women feel unsafe on the streets every evening. Walking home from work, out with friends or just commuting, many feel unease.
A Facebook group recently created in the Lincoln area is working towards combating that, The Lincoln Girl Gang Group.
Over 1500 members joined the group in just 48 hours, with posts mostly focusing on helping girls get home but also leading out into empowering others and offering advice.
Common post format follows the posters destination, usually late at night, asking for others to look out for them or simply make a group chat to have somebody to follow your journey.
It was set up by University of Lincoln second year student, Amber Marshall. She set the group up after seeing similar occur in Nottingham, which was posted in an article on The Tab.
Amber says that, “Girls are already forming their own smaller chats and offering their phone calls and assistance so I think it’ll be perfect for anyone in need”.
It comes at an important time, as in August 2018, 10% of crimes directly in the Lincoln city centre area were violent or sexual offences, with 54 out of 459.
Speaking to Teena Twelves, coordinator of the Lincoln Street Pastors, ambassadors in offering care and comfort to those on the street between 10pm to 4am, she offered her own advice on protecting yourself.
“We would encourage everyone to plan their evenings safely beforehand,” she states. Further stating that this includes, “not drinking too much and having an idea beforehand of how they’re getting home.”
The Metropolitan Police offers their own advice for staying safe on the streets with 9 simple tips you can follow.
Be prepared – Planning your route in advance is key. A charged phone and some cash, as well as telling someone where you’re going.
Be assertive – Walk with confidence and be assertive.
Be aware – Many factors can affect your awareness of your surroundings such as music or texting.
Hide it – Keep your valuables hidden. Out of sight, out of mind.
Go against the flow – When walking on the pavement, always face oncoming traffic, as it will make it far more difficult for thieves on two wheelers to ride up from behind and snatch your property. But still also be aware of anyone approaching from ahead of you.
Trust your instincts – If you do have to walk, stick to busy places where a lot of activity CCTV and good lighting is.
Make a plan – And stick to it.
Be vigilant – Keep an eye on how much you drink and never let your glass or bottle out of your sight.
Safety in numbers – Try to travel with people you know and, where possible, stick to routes and forms of transport that others are using.
You can use the Lincoln Girl Gang yourself in a step towards making the streets safer for women in the Lincoln area. You can find the closed group here and request to be added.