Addison Lee – London’s largest private transport provider – has partnered with UN Women UK to become their transport partner as part of its Safe Spaces Now initiative. The campaign works with women and the owners of spaces such as taxis and nightlife venues, to create safe spaces for women as they travel and live their day-to-day lives.
UN data highlights serious concerns around women’s safety. Over 70% of women in the UK say they have experienced sexual harassment in public. Only 4% of women asked, reported the incidents of harassment to an official organisation – with 45% of women saying they didn’t believe reporting would help change anything.
Through the partnership with Addison Lee, UN Women UK will raise awareness of the issues women face daily. The initial fund raising will focus on 16 days of Activism from the 25th November, the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, to the 10th December, Human Rights Day. Addison Lee passengers will be able to donate to a number of initiatives, including a number of initiatives such as the Safe Spaces Festivals and staff training, run by the UN Women UK committee. All donations will be match-funded by Addison Lee.
The partnership will also include co-designed safety guidance for PHV and taxi drivers and Addison Lee employees, so they know what to do if they are concerned about an individual’s safety or an incident is reported to them. This training will be added to Addison Lee’s existing safety training for drivers and rolled out to all employees.
The training will include modules on how someone should act if they think a passenger or member of the public is vulnerable, which organisations to call to report any incidents and wider awareness of women’s safety, including the types of behaviours that may make a person feel uncomfortable.
Speaking about the partnership, Addison Lee CEO Liam Griffin said:
‘Addison Lee has always been synonymous with safety and reliability. We have led the industry in driving up safety standards and we strive to continuously improve in this important area. Our partnership with UN Women UK will provide our drivers and colleagues with better awareness of women’s safety and how to act if they see a situation where someone appears to be in a vulnerable position. The training that we will deliver through this partnership will empower our drivers to report any concerns they have with a woman’s safety and also educate them on what makes their vehicle a safe space for someone who may feel unsafe or vulnerable.’
Claire Barnett, Executive Director of UN Women UK said:
‘The pandemic and national lockdowns have given us a unique opportunity to reflect on what we expect from our public spaces and the behaviour within them. Women, girls and marginalised people across the UK are demanding action, and we know from UN Women’s work around the world that the only way we will achieve change is through a holistic programme, that includes preventative and educational measures as well as acting effectively when an incident happens. It is exciting to see Addison Lee leading the sector in committing to implementing this programme throughout their driver community and organisation, as well as mobilising the public. We hope their commitments to Safe Spaces Now will inspire others to take bold steps forward in making our public spaces safer.’
Addison Lee will implement the training early next year, with the offer to invite all PHV and taxi drivers across London to take part in the training.