Purple Flag awards for six 'safe' town centres

Image caption,
Towns where people feel safe at night have been awarded the Purple Flag

Six towns and cities have won a national award recognising them as safe and enjoyable places for a night out.

The Purple Flag award - similar to the Blue Flag scheme for beaches - has been given to Bournemouth, Bristol, Halifax, High Wycombe, Oxford and Winchester.

The scheme assesses each area's crime rates, hygiene standards and range of visitor attractions.

Run by the Association for Town Centre Management, it also aims to help places develop their night-time economy.

The scheme, which is backed by the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers, provides research, training and development to helps towns and cities tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour.

A scheme spokesman said: "To win Purple Flag status towns and cities must be welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home, provide a good mix of venues and attractions and be appealing not just at night but during the day too.

"Purple Flag towns can expect to benefit from lower crime and anti-social behaviour, and more visitors.

"People deserve a safe and enjoyable night out and want to know where is good to visit.

"It is great to see six new towns being recognised for providing a high quality and enjoyable night-time experience."

The six award winners join nine other Purple Flag holders across England, including Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.

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