Do you feel safe on the streets of Aylesbury after dark? Our readers say 'No'

This week the Bucks Herald asked our readers: "Do you feel safe in Aylesbury after dark in light of recent incidents in town and London?"

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:53 pm
Aylesbury residents have shared their stories of feeling unsafe in town at night

And the overwhelming answer from respondents, was no they don't.

After events in London last week where Sarah Everard was tragically murdered, and another sexual assault in a popular Aylesbury over the weekend, we wanted to learn whether people really feel safe in our town.

A survey, conducted by UN Women - a global organisation working towards gender equality - has unearthed disturbing findings regarding women's safety in the UK.

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Women's Rights are Human Rights

The survey suggested that 97% of women aged 18-24 in UK faced sexual harassment.

Claire Barnett, the executive director of UN Women UK, calls it a "human rights crisis".

Locally, the picture residents have been painting is also bleak.

Residents responded to our post on social media sharing their experiences.

Protests around the capital

Lynn Patton commented: "Aylesbury centre is not safe for men or women on a normal Friday/Saturday night - too many gangs."

Rachel Russell said: "No. I would never walk through town on my own at night. Too many groups of drunk men hanging about. Even St Mary's Square attracts them in the day time."

Others took a more defiant stance.

Lauren Bassnett said: "No I don’t feel safe but I will never let it stop me doing what I want to do.

"Yes I do all safety measures but I will never be locked away because of others actions."

The Crime Survey of England and Wales estimates 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 3.4 million female victims and 631,000 male victims. 5 in 6 victims (83%) did not report their experiences to the police.

Cathy East said that she had been on the receiving end of two attacks, luckily escaping both times.

She said: "No I don't feel safe. I've had a couple of lucky escapes been jumped out on and followed."

Sara Hardy North said: "No I don't feel safe, day or night. Woman are disproportionately treated differently in public spaces, from cat calling or being sexually harassed.

"There are plenty of decent men around, so it makes me wonder why they stay quiet watching another man shout out sexual abuse to a woman on the street?

"Why is it up to us to carry rape alarms, keys, generally rearrange our plans to feel safe on the streets?"

Other residents suggested that things could be improved with 'more street lighting' and more 'bobbies on the beat' to improve the sense of security people felt.