'WALK and Talk' is a new initiative in Devon and Cornwall asking women aged 18 and over: 'Is there a place you feel unsafe? Take us there'

Devon and Cornwall Police will be linking up with women in person to understand more about what our region looks like and feels like, seeking to understand more through first-hand experience about the places and spaces where women feel unsafe.

The Walk and Talk initiative will be trialled for three months in selected locations across the force area, including Newton Abbot.

Each Walk and Talk should last around 30 minutes.

Walk and Talk initiative
(Devon and Cornwall Police)

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew said: 'This project is designed to continually improve our understanding of local issues, so we can all work together to make changes.

'A female police officer will accompany local women as they walk through an area where they have concerns so we have a detailed understanding of how an area makes people really feel and what the reasons for the cause of this feeling are.

'It could be caused by poor lighting or due to anti-social behaviour, and we then share this information with partners to consider how we can work together to support changes and improvements being made.

'This is an important development as the personal interaction will develop our understanding of issues from the perspective of women and girls.'

Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, welcomed the new personal safety initiative for women across the region, saying: 'Ensuring the safety of women and girls in Devon & Cornwall is a top priority of mine, so I wholeheartedly endorse the innovative new Walk & Talk service that’s being trialled in participating towns across the peninsula.

'All women deserve to feel safe in their communities, but sadly that’s not always been the case - it’s why tackling violence against women and girls is now a national policing priority.

'I’ve heard my neighbouring Police & Crime Commissioner for Avon & Somerset, Mark Shelford, speak highly of their Walk & Talk scheme, so I look forward to seeing positive results for ours here in Devon & Cornwall.

'I urge local partners to get behind this new initiative and encourage take-up in your pilot areas, particularly amongst vulnerable female groups who may be reluctant to come forward and speak out.'

► To apply, send an email to [email protected]