County council in women's safety plea as nightlife returns

File photo dated 26/04/21 of a server carrying a tray of drinks from a pub in the Grassmarket in Edi

Indoor drinking and dining can resume this weekend - Credit: PA

Essex County Council's deputy leader is urging people to consider how their actions can make women feel unsafe at night, as Covid-19 restrictions on nightlife ease. 

Deputy Leader Louise McKinlay said volunteers, police officers and organisations will be out in Essex over the weekend.

Cllr McKinlay added there are things we can all do to create a safe environment in the county.

She said: "Even something completely innocent might make a lone female feel frightened, so something simple like walking a few more paces behind or crossing the road will make a big difference."

Cllr McKinlay's comments follow heightened awareness and concerns around women's safety after the disappearance and death of Sarah Everard on March 3.

In April, Essex County Council launched a Safety Advisory Group.

The county council pledged £500,000 for the group which is led by Cllr McKinlay.

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She said: “There are also some really simple precautions we can all take to make ourselves safer like making sure our phones are fully charged, sticking with a friend when walking, and - if drinking - making sure you don’t leave your drink unattended."

Councillor Louise McKinlay. Picture: Supplied

Cllr Louise McKinlay - Credit: Archant

Cllr McKinlay's message is one of several aimed at revellers as pubs and bars over the weekend.

Essex Police said "Don't get locked up as lockdown eases" to discourage drink driving.

Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing, said: "Rather than deal with the aftermath of being arrested and facing a court appearance where you could lose your livelihood because of drink or drug driving, why not take some precautions?

“Think about what you will do this weekend and plan ahead; make travel arrangements using a designated driver or take a taxi.

“This will leave you free to enjoy your celebrations without guilt and without repercussions. Just don’t drink or drug drive.”

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