More Businesses Need For Birmingham 'Safe Havens'

15 November 2014, 06:44 | Updated: 15 November 2014, 06:45

Charity bosses have told Heart more businesses and community buildings need to come forward to become 'Safe Havens' in Birmingham.

16 have opened in parts of the city like Lozells, Handsworth, Newtown and Small Heath in the last week. 

The idea is that if people feel in danger in their neighbourhood, they can go to a shop, gym, school or community building to get help and feel safer. 

Saidul Haque Saeed told Heart: "To make this more of a success we need more businesses to take part at a range of places across the city that are open at different times. We know it gets dark earlier at this time of year and so people will feel unsafe then. 

"It's really about getting the community talking and working together. Getting to know everyone that live and work in the same area."

Youth leaders started conversations with local shops and institutions to secure these agreements. The young people were from Citizens UK Birmingham member institutions and youth organisation Aspire & Succeed.

Perez Mead, 10, from St. Francis’ Catholic Primary said: “I do lots of after-school clubs, and when I walk home, I have to go through a park where there are sometimes boys smoking, who throw things at me. I have my secret hiding places in the park so they can’t catch me when I run away from them. If there was a Safe Haven nearby then I wouldn’t have to hide in the bushes.”