BUSINESSES across Southampton are declaring themselves as "safe places" in a bid to try and reduce crime in the city.

The community has come together to offer people safe place to go if they are ever feeling threatened or uncomfortable in Southampton, where they can safely call the emergency services or wait for family members.

A whole host of pubs, as well as barbers shops, clubs and a taxi firm have joined the effort so far, declaring themselves to the public as safe places.

The Station pub in Bitterne is one of the new safe spaces, and Landlord, Kevin O'Connell believes "all pubs and shops" should be looking after the community.

He said: "People need to know that they're safe. There's so much going crime going on at the moment. We're right on a busy crossroads and lots of school kids walk by and they need to know that if they're in trouble, they're not alone. All shops and pubs should be looking after the community."

Manager of barber shop, Elite Cuts, Emma Crowley added: "The more businesses that join the better, people need to be welcomed in with open arms, and together we can reduce crime. I'm a mum of four young children and I need to know that other people would do the same for them."

A full list of safe places so far is as followed: The Station pub, the Yacht Tavern, Woolston and District Trades and Labour Club, The Millers Pond pub, the Lime Bar, Elite Cuts, Gentlemen's League Barbers and Bitterne Cars.

The SO19 Neighbourhood Watch group on Facebook have backed the campaign.

A spokesperson said: "There is so much crime, particularly in the Thornhill area at the moment, it's not a nice place for kids to grow up in. This campaign will bring the community together in a time where people are being pushed apart."