Pictured L-R: Superintendent Diane Pownall, winner of Police Office of the Year, Jenny Ewels and Joanne Matthews.

Safer Streets campaign praised at national awards

Liverpool’s Safer Streets campaign has been recognised at a national awards ceremony for its educational campaigns aimed at improving the city’s safety.

Joanne Matthews, Liverpool City Council’s Community Coordinator for Safer Stronger Communities, won an award put forward by the Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell.

And the Head of Safer and Stronger Communities, Jenny Ewels, was also nominated at the Merseyside Police Community First Awards for her remarkable work on preventing sexual violence.

The awards received more than 150 entries from colleagues who nominated officers and staff for their invaluable work.

A judging panel of esteemed colleagues, shortlisted submissions, selecting three finalists for each of the 13 categories.  

The categories commended numerous qualities including bravery and professionalism, and celebrated staff who demonstrate the most positive impact to the community.

Joanne’s winning nomination read: “Joanne has been known to and worked with the OPCC and Merseyside Police, across Liverpool for in excess of 10 years.

“She works tirelessly in partnership with the OPCC Community Engagement Team and Liverpool Local Policing Teams to deliver improvements to community safety in those areas of Liverpool that are hardest hit by crime. Joanne’s support and advice is invaluable to us and all of our partners. Her involvement in delivering partnership work is key to ensuring that the events and projects run successfully.

“Joanne works tirelessly in partnership with colleagues to use innovative ideas to tackle complex community issues, attracting funding from various sources to ensure that projects can be delivered and make a difference to those communities on a long term basis. Joanne constantly puts our Communities First and is highly valued by partners and the community.”

Safer Streets Liverpool is a joint campaign between Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and Liverpool City Council.

Jenny Ewel was nominated in the partners’ category for her work on preventing sexual violence.

Her strategic approach addresses systemic issues entrenched in society and shifts the onus from victims through awareness campaigns and training, all delivered in partnership with a range of partners such from the Universities, Police, Merseytravel, Violence Reduction Partnership and colleagues across the Council.

Since its launch in March, the campaign has delivered:

  • Enhanced CCTV surveillance available at Liverpool One, Queens Square, and Sir Thomas Street bus stops
  • New “help points” connected to the CityWatch control room and better links with emergency services 
  • Bus drivers and frontline bus station employees are benefitting from “bystander training” to equip them with the comprehension and tools to prevent sexual violence. Up to 70 schools in Liverpool will receive educational training to combat sexual harassment and misogyny.

Although Jenny narrowly lost out to Rob Jackson, an invaluable NHS colleague, her work is noteworthy and paves the way for further progressive stratagem to reduce sexual violence and unwanted sexual behaviour in our community.

Jenny’s nomination read: “Jenny leads the work of the Community Safety Partnership through the City Safe Board and multiple strategic sub-groups. She is instrumental in galvanising a wide range of partners to deliver substantial community safety programmes.

“Since 2017, Jenny has worked in partnerships to address sexual violence in the night-time economy and developed trusted relationships with academic partners. Her work has resulted in a third round of funding from Safer Streets, winning a bid for over £200,000.

“Her programme of work has included inputs in education about misogyny, CCTV and lighting improvements, bystander training for transport workers, a text message service to report unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport and a comprehensive awareness campaign ‘no excuses.”

Jenny’s vision and work ethic has been described by Merseyside Police’s Local Policing team as ‘remarkable’ and she is an incredible partner who has a passion to deliver safer and stronger communities in Liverpool.”

Councillor Liam Robinson. Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “We are all incredibly proud to witness the effectiveness and impact of the Safer Streets campaig.

“Its very pleasing to see that the hard work and dedication of the team, with such excellent officers such as Jenny and Joanne, has not gone unrecognised.

“Both practical aspects and educational elements of the campaign are vital for challenging and changing behaviour and keeping our communities safe.”

Liverpool Waterfront