13 Oct 2023 | Andy Nall-Cain
The ESTEEM team, an open group of young adults who help to run the charity, decided to discuss and respond to the call for feedback on how safe residents feel in the local area from the Adur & Worthing Council.
Below, we summarise some of the team’s key discussion points:
The Young Adults in the meeting feel varying levels of safety in the local area. Cis Women and LGBT+ young adults felt particularly unsafe in the local area.
Places the group talked about as unsafe included Worthing town centre, Southwick Square and Buckingham Park. Crime and antisocial behaviour mentioned included robbery, intimidation, catcalling, stabbings, and people carrying knives and weapons.
“It feels like there aren’t safe places for young people to go, particularly there aren’t indoor spaces that are good to go other than audio active and ESTEEM” (Another young adult also mentioned the importance of the library as another safe space)
Young adults also discussed the large amount of youth prejudice in the local area:
“Loads of people see groups of young people as a threat.”
“Because of the way I dress, with my hood up and tracksuits on, I am seen as antisocial. I shouldn’t be thinking I might be stopped today because I’ve got a tracksuit on or a hood up”
“I don’t think people should assume that someone with a hood up is automatically bad.”
“In a group, in general, I tend to notice a lot of filthy looks from other people, sometimes even just with someone else when we’re just chatting or walking. Sometimes even outside of the co-op down the road. “
Thinking about recommendations around improving safety locally, young adults suggested better street lighting as a place to start:
“The streets in this area (Shoreham) could be lit better! The skatepark by Southwick Square and the park next to Quayside Youth Centre should be lit up, and Buckingham Park could be lit up better.”
There was also a discussion on the impact of the cost of living crisis and the need for more preventative measures to reduce crime locally. Especially around shop-lifting,
“There’s a lot of shoplifting as people don’t have as much money. Sometimes there are mothers and teenage girls stealing products they need and mothers stealing nappies and stuff because they can’t afford it. On some level, they should make this stuff available for the people who need it. For example, tampons and nappies. In Holmbush in the toilets there are pad and tampon dispensers that need to be fixed. If people are in desperate need and don’t have any, you should be able to get them there.(It’s £3-5 for a pack of tampons and pads, not a lot of people can afford that. )
Interested in safety in our local area? You can fill out the council’s survey today.