Save us from sex pest alley

4:00pm Wednesday 26th January 2011

A DUDLEY ladies only gym is calling for lighting in a nearby unlit passageway after four women were assaulted in the last few weeks.

Gymophobics in Castle Street has submitted a 79-name petition to Dudley Council calling for lights to be installed in the Green Man Entry – which links its car park to the gym entrance.

Speaking at Central Dudley Area Committee, gym manager Susanne Neath told councillors her members were frightened to go to the gym in the dark nights.

She said: “In the last month, four people have been assaulted, one was robbed, the other pushed aside and one guy even put his hand between one lady’s legs.

“One of my members of staff even had her car broken into.

“We are sitting ducks. They know it’s a woman’s only gym and they know we walk up and down that passageway.

“I feel it is a priority to look after our women and we should be encouraging people to come into the town centre.”

The committee heard how the assaults had been reported to police, who also considered lighting in the alleyway would deter similar attacks.

Matt Williams, assistant director of the Directorate of Urban Environment, said: “We are in agreement that the area would benefit from extra lighting and it is our intention to undertake a scheme in the future.

“However, like everything else, we have to prioritise. We have to look at crime figures and the number of people who have signed the petition.

“Hopefully next year – and if sufficient funding becomes available – we will install a lighting scheme in the area which we hope will alleviate the situation.”

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