A GROUP working to make Bradford city centre safer is encouraging people to become ‘active bystanders’.

Bradford at Night, which aims to make the city centre a safer, more vibrant and enjoyable place to be, is offering free training to help people develop the confidence and knowledge to safely tackle disturbing situations and unacceptable behaviour.

Alison Lowe OBE, who is the group’s patron and West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity to be at the forefront of our efforts to improve the safety of women and girls in West Yorkshire.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Alison Lowe, patron of Bradford at Night and West Yorkshire's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Alison Lowe, patron of Bradford at Night and West Yorkshire's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime

“Albeit the term ‘active bystander’ is relatively new, it is a role which we all inherently recognise and are able to achieve with the right training and knowledge.

“It essentially means that you are able to identify when someone’s behaviour is inappropriate or threatening and to challenge it in the appropriate way.

“The more people we have in our communities that confront these negative attitudes, particularly towards women, then the quicker we can change the culture.

“Over time, this concerted effort will help transform social norms, especially across our night-time economy, where we often see this occurring.

“This can only lead to increased safety for women and girls, especially in light of the news we have all seen over recent months, relating to drink spiking, sexual assaults, and harassment.

“I would urge all those who play a central part in our county’s vibrant night life to take up this free offer and join our collective efforts to keeping people safe.”

The free Active Bystander Training will take place on Thursday, May 19, 2pm-4pm, at The Assembly Rooms, in North Parade.

It is open to members of Bradford BID and Bradford at Night and anyone who would like to attend or send a member of their team should contact Elizabeth Murphy, Bradford BID’s Evening and Night-Time Economy Co-ordinator, by e-mail to e.murphy@bradfordbid.co.uk, to reserve a place, as numbers are limited. More dates for the course are also being organised for June.

Ms Murphy said: “These situations occur all around us every day and often we don’t know how to react or what to say so we end up letting it go.

“It’s not about being confrontational but about learning an effective way to head off potentially violent or dangerous situations, either by intervening safely or taking the appropriate action to get help from others or the authorities.”