The City of Lincoln Council is proposing the introduction of 15 new CCTV cameras around the city as one way of making the streets safer for women.
This proposal comes following government funding under the Safer Streets Campaign and is a response to the public call for more to be done to improve late-night safety.
Lincoln’s Reclaim the Night march last week saw hundreds of people gather to protest for women’s rights to feel safe walking at night.
Maisy Fincham, from the University of Lincoln’s Feminist Society, said: “It’s been over 40 years of people campaigning and nothing has happened because of the deep-rooted misogyny in our culture, trying to describe your experience of sexual harassment on the street is borderline impossible sometimes because there are a lot of people that feel like it’s an insignificant problem.”.
The new cameras are being proposed in the Abbey, Carholme and Park wards, along the streets and areas that the council describe as ‘key routes where people often choose to walk home following a night out.’.
The council say they wish to implement these cameras ‘with the aim to reduce violence against women and girls and anyone who may feel vulnerable.’.
Map showing the areas of proposed cameras for the Park Ward around the Sincil Bank area.
However, in 2016 Lincolnshire County Council decided to turn off over half of its 68,000 streetlights after midnight.
University of Lincoln’s Women’s Officer, Zuzanna Romansky said: “The SU is constantly trying to tackle the streetlight issue, but it seems impossible to tackle for some reason, is the money they are saving worth the neglect of what the people of the county are saying they need to keep them safe… if it’s dark there’s no chance the CCTV cameras will pick up anything…it doesn’t make sense.”
As well as efforts to implement more CCTV cameras, the council are also developing an app that they say will work with the CCTV control room to improve the safety of people who may feel vulnerable walking home alone at night.
However, the lack of streetlights after midnight needed for the CCTV cameras to be effective means campaigners are still calling for a real solution.