The latest news from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Funding for self-defence programme helps empower girls

Young women are taking control over their lives after a self-defence class empowered them.

Being Me started as a self-defence programme for young women aged 11 to 16 in Rayleigh. Set up by Bar ‘n’ Bus Trust, the class at Rayleigh Baptist Church was so popular, the group of young women continue to meet weekly to support each other and to experience a positive social group, to raise their aspirations and get involved in art.

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) has contributed £16,240 to Bar ‘n’ Bus Trust in the form of a crime and disorder reduction grant from the 2022-2023 Community Safety Development Fund to enable the programme to continue in Rayleigh and to expand into Basildon, with classes at the Salvation Army.

PFCC Roger Hirst said: “We must do more to ensure women and girls feel safer on the streets of Essex. They must be able to spend time out in the community when and where they want and to feel safe. By arming them with the confidence and the skills to keep themselves safe, we will change behaviours.”

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Read the full newsletter here: PFCC Weekly Newsletter 6th October 2023 (