Almost half of teenage girls 'feel unsafe at night'

Evening shoppers on a London street
Image caption The report looked at teenage girls in 11 English and Scottish cities

Almost half of teenage girls living in some of the UK's biggest cities say they don't feel safe going out after dark, a survey suggests.

The study by children's charity Plan UK said 42% were reluctant to leave the house in the evening.

The same percentage of the 600 13 to 18 year olds questioned also said they knew someone who had been assaulted.

Plan UK chief executive Marie Staunton said issues such as poor street lighting needed to be tackled.

The survey spoke to teenage girls in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Coventry, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

It found that nine of the 10 girls questioned said more police on the streets would make them feel safer, while 91% said better street lighting would make a big difference.

In London, more than half of those questioned said crime in their local area had gone up in the past few years, while 10% of those living in Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry said they knew someone who had been assaulted in their neighbourhood in the past six months.

Ms Staunton said the picture of teenager girls unhappy to go at night was replicated in large cities around the globe.

She added: "It is unacceptable that in cities all over the world, including the UK, girls are often scared to go out.

"Poor street lighting, overcrowded housing, and harassment on public transport all contribute to the very real risks that girls face - these are issues that must be tackled.

"Living in cities can often be liberating. Violence and fear of violence should not be allowed to rule girls' lives."

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