MORE than half a million pounds has been secured to tackle violence again women and girls in Hampshire.

Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones says that a total of £648,755 of funding has been committed by the Home Office to help the county tackle what Commissioner Jones previously branded a "epidemic" of violence against women.

This comes as part of the latest round of the Government’s Safer Streets fund which was created to increase the safety of public spaces.

It is now expected to enable the delivery of interventions that target the "root causes" of violence against women and girls and emphasise changing attitudes and behaviours, challenging gender stereotypes.

This action includes education programmes in schools to combat unhealthy behaviours, campaigns focused on student safety and also physical interventions, such as CCTV and lighting.

Donna Jones said: “Violence against women and girls has been an issue in this country for generations, but recent high profile cases mean it is very much at the front of our minds at present, and rightly so.

"VAWG offences cause significant harm and distress to victims, their friends and family, witnesses, and wider society. It is crucial that we work together to stop these crimes happening in the first place - through better education and awareness; by challenging misogyny and hate in society; and working to change repeat offenders' behaviour.

“Through initiatives such as those being funded under Safer Streets and the work of my Task Group I want to ensure that everything that can done, is being done to tackle and prevent crimes of violence against women and girls.”

While these interventions are currently Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight based, if successful they are expected to be used to help other authorities tackle the issue and improve safety in public spaces, primarily for women and girls.

The funding was secured with the help of Southampton City Council and Councillor Spiros Vassiliou, Southampton City Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Heritage said: “I strongly believe that the success of this application was from our unified desire to make our local areas safer.

"We are very pleased to be awarded a portion of this funding and will work at pace to deliver the key parts of this bid. This includes improving some physical aspects of the city, but also starting to work on education and information to help ensure the safety of women and girls in Southampton.”