Women and girl's safety

Do you need support? visit our women's safety page


Our goal 

Too many women and girls in Redbridge experience and are fearful of harassment or assault in our public spaces. This can range from unwanted sexual remarks and gestures to rape and murder. Public spaces include streets, in and around public transport, schools, workplaces, public toilets and in parks. This sad reality means that women and girls’ freedom of movement and ability to join in public life is negatively impacted.

Redbridge council understand this and knows that women cannot keep changing how they live in an attempt to keep themselves safe. It is the responsibility of everyone, especially men to improve the safety of women and girls. So, we are working closely with the police, our other partners such as local schools and businesses, as well as with the local community. Together, we are taking more action to improve women's and girls’ safety across the borough. We have a mission for Redbridge to be a safe place for women and girls. This in turn means a safer space for everyone. 



We know that it should not just be on women and girls to keep themselves safe from crime and harassment so we have included advice below on how males can improve women's safety.

If you would like information to better understand how to assess and potentially reduce risks to your personal safety, please visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website, a personal safety charity in the UK. They provide detailed personal safety advice, including when in public, at home, at work and online.

Advice for male allies to improve women's safety 

Some of this advice might seem obvious, but there are some simple things we can all do to help others feel safer when they're out in public.

Give women and girls space on the street, or on a train or bus

For example, if you’re walking behind or towards someone, consider crossing to the other side of the street and leaving a wide enough distance so it is obvious you are not trying to get close to them. Women are often on constant alert in public spaces, so this can help them feel safer.

Avoid touching women even when there is no inappropriate intention behind it

For example, touching a woman’s lower back or waist while walking past her in a crowded place, can feel like an invasion of personal space, so avoid doing this.

Offer to escort your female friends and family to places

Sadly women and girls are less likely to be targeted and harassed if they are with a male friend or relative, so you can offer to walk them home for example if they are walking alone.

Know how to respond if you see someone being harassed in public 

Stand Up is a great 5-minute online training which shows you five different options to intervene if you see someone being harassed without putting yourself at risk.

Don’t flirt with a woman who isn’t showing any interest

Signs of not being interested are answering your questions briefly or bluntly, avoiding eye contact, excusing herself from a conversation and not initiating any contact. It is important to take no for an answer and not push.

Keep comments to yourself and don’t stare

What you might think of as harmless or flattery can be insulting, upsetting or even frightening to someone else. Keep any comments or opinions to yourself and avoid staring at individuals.

Do not approach a woman in a group

This can be intimidating and make the individual feel uncomfortable or anxious.

As well as the above points which aim to improve women and girls’ feelings of safety in public, there is more that can be done in your personal life as well.

You can be a positive role model for younger men and boys to help break the cycle of male violence toward women. This can include calling out sexist comments and ‘banter’ within your friendships groups and family settings to change the culture. You can also be an agent for change by joining the HeForShe solidarity movement to achieve gender equality. Find more information on the HeForShe website.

The Government website also has information on ways you can help through their Enough campaign

Find out more information on our findings from our engagement with women and girls in the community and what steps we are taking to improve safety across the borough.

Creating a Safer Redbridge for Women and Girls, our mission statement (1.66 KB)

  • Less than 1 in 5 (19%) women felt generally safe in Redbridge
  • 2 out of 3 (68%) women and girls experience street harassment at least once a month in Ilford and sadly only 3.4% have never experienced street harassment in Ilford (the Town Centre)
  • 1 out of 4 (26%) have also been touched in Ilford
  • The majority (84%) of respondents felt unsafe in Ilford Town Centre, this was followed closely by the Seven Kings (80%) and Goodmayes (74%) High Streets

The most common types of street harassment experienced by women and girls by males are:

  • 91% Catcalling (e.g. unwanted flirtatious comments)
  • 81% Sounds being made towards them (e.g. wolf-whistling)
  • 62% being followed by someone
  • 45% aggressive verbal harassment (being shouted at by someone)
  • 26% being touched

In an attempt to increase safety, women and girls who responded to the survey changed their behaviour.

  • 69% have changed the route they take
  • 67% avoid public transport at night
  • 64% avoid going out alone
  • 44% have changed the way they dress
  • 24% carry a rape alarm or other protective equipment

Enforcement partnership with the Police

We have agreed to joint regular patrols for Council Enforcement Officers and Policing Teams to use innovative Anti-Social Behaviour legislation that enables them to fine individuals who cause harassment to women on our streets. An example of this multi-agency work is where council enforcement officers, British Transport Police officers and the Police town centre team undertake an engagement and reassurance operation outside Ilford Train Station at both entrances. There is high visibility presence using our vehicles and the CCTV Challenger. The operations are proving to be a success and several women stop to talk to the officers.


There are over 700 CCTV cameras installed across the borough (including subways and underpass) that are live and operating in a control room which is staffed 24/7.

You can see where the cameras are located through our CCTV page.

The CCTV operators have begun patrols during the night and early hours of the morning for lone individuals particularly women to ensure they reach their destination safely. If an individual appears vulnerable, they will alert officers and deploy the CCTV Mobile Challenger on the ground to go to their location to offer support.

Work with young people

In partnership with Mayfield school, we did a month-long survey on pupil safety and delivered workshops across all year groups specifically on women's and girls’ safety.  This was followed by walks in small groups to allow pupils to tell us about how/when/where and why they feel unsafe on their journey to and around the school. As a response to one of their concerns, there are now regular police patrols and searches around the Frank Slater House area.

This piece of work was the subject of a BBC news article presenting the school as ‘ahead of the game’ in tackling harassment of women and girls. We have offered this to other schools but are exploring how we can expand this to all schools in the borough.

The Police have also been running a ‘women in policing’ pilot at Oaks Park School has developed relationships with the school off the back of the Community Crime Commission. A cohort of female pupils has been shown all the most interesting elements the MPS has to offer and have then been invited to feedback on a range of issues to Commanders responsible for women in policing and women’s safety. Their feedback included themes that made them feel unsafe in London, stop and search and suggestions on how to win back the confidence of women and improve the reporting of crimes that disproportionately affect women such as harassment and domestic abuse.

Women's safety community meeting

Please note, this meeting has been postponed. Rescheduled date to be confirmed soon.

This meeting aims to connect residents to the council and police relating to issues of women's safety in Redbridge.

From this meeting residents will have the opportunity to work with a council officers in different departments on a variety of projects which influence women’s safety by joining working groups targeting specific aspects of engagement.

Visit our Eventbrite page to sign up

Police Walks and Talks

The police arrange regular walks around different parts of the borough for women and girls to come and speak to female police officers about their experiences, safety concerns and reflections.

Find upcoming dates on the MPS Redbridge Twitter page.

If there are no upcoming dates or you are not able to make any of the times and dates on offer, you can register to arrange a walk on the Police’s Eventbrite page and a female officer will be in touch.

If you would like to work with us to ensure a safer Redbridge for women and girls, please contact the Community Safety Partnership Team by emailing CSP@redbridge.gov.uk