Contact us

Greenwich Women's Safety


Project goal: Create a new draft safety plan to protect women and girls who live and travel through Greenwich

Launch date:  15 December 2021

Visitors total: 6575

Contributions: 1463

It reached over 1% of the borough's population!

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is something that organisations all over the country have been working to fight. With this in mind, we developed our Safer Spaces Hub- a version of our platform specially designed to gather information to craft safer spaces for women and girls.

Made in partnership with UN Women UK, women and girls from across the country are being encouraged to drop a pin
on a map and detail safety issues specific to that area. More importantly, they can make
suggestions about how to tackle these problems directly, leading to a more balanced and
transparent approach to change. Commonplace has worked with over 100 local authorities and
we’ve put all our expertise into designing this map.

Find out all about our safety hub here!

One such authority was The Royal Borough of Greenwich who used the platform to help create their draft safety plan. Run from December 2021 to January 2022, let's take a look at how their community engagement and the voices of the women and girls that live and work there helped to shape the local area.

womens safety greenwich

Summary of the Greenwich VAWG project

The survey was open to all residents in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to share concerns affecting the
safety of women and girls, focusing on public places. The results and comments were then fed
into the borough's final Women's Public Safety Plan.

Although the main focus was on the safety of women and girls, the survey was open to all Royal Greenwich residents to have their say and raise any public safety concerns. They made a point to highlight that  "we welcome and encourage feedback from anyone who has experienced gender-based violence, abuse or harassment in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, including men and non-binary people."  The survey questions also dived into the intersectionality that can lie at the core of safety issues as many other factors can make individuals feel unsafe in areas or be the target of harassment. This can include race, sexuality, economic status, disability and more. 


Before launching their Commoplace survey, Greenwich first asked a number of local women about their experiences of gender-based harassment and violence. Nearly 300 people took the survey or attended our virtual event to tell us their stories.  

From this feedback, they identified four main areas of work to improve women's safety: 

Women’s public safety: this includes looking at street lighting, CCTV, and public spaces like pubs, bars and other geographic locations like parks, streets, and town centres. 

Education: of boys and teenagers in school and higher education, as well as men in the workplace. 

Domestic abuse: (in cases where the victim is a woman): specifically looking at targeted perpetrator campaigns. 

Equalities: what services are available/accessible for black women, women of ethnic minorities, women with disabilities and those from often excluded or neglected communities (e.g. the travelling community). 

Following this, they then launched the Commonplace survey to gather as much information as possible about where and why women and girls who use public spaces feel unsafe as women’s public safety was and still is part of the council’s first priority.


Placing a pin

Greenwich Women's Safety

The highlight of the website was the Safety Heatmap. With it, anyone could drop a pin and answer survey questions as to why they feel unsafe in the area. This could be poor lighting, anti-social behaviour, lack of a police presence etc. All the answers were able to be seen by others and still can today even though the survey has been closed. This is for the sake of transparency but also as an encouraging and educational tool. Anyone can now see the areas with the most complaints and the different thoughts of those who feel unsafe in these areas. For some it can be reassuring to see that other people feel the same that they do and for others, helps them see the area in a new light and understand exactly why women girls and others can fear for their safety in these areas.

The results?

In addition to the enagement, an equality impact assessment and final report were shared in the summer of 2022 to support the implementation of critical mitigation measures. Then, in November 2022 launched its new Women’s Safety Plan with the information gathered from this engagement as well as other consultations the council ran in and around it. This included 22 in-person workshops with over 700 people "from a diverse range of backgrounds including groups that are often unheard."

The plan includes a wide range of initiatives, such as implementing educational programs in schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces, as well as enforcing strong measures on the ground. It also prioritizes the provision of accessible services, enhances the effectiveness of CCTV systems, and improves street lighting to create a safer environment.

Read about the full plan here

And make sure to check out the closed engagement project below!

Greenwich Women's Safety

Ready to run your own safety engagement? Chat with one of our experts today!

Contact us to find out more