Women's safety in public spaces

Join us on Wednesday 17 July to discuss the safety of women runners in public spaces.

Research at The University of Manchester has found that over two-thirds of women runners across Greater Manchester and Merseyside have experienced abuse, with only 5% reporting it to the police. This has taken the form of physical and sexual assaults, verbal abuse, being followed, flashing, and harassment.  

In 2021-22, Greater Manchester and Merseyside Police recorded 81 offences involving abuse of women runners. In a survey of 498 women, 68% said they had experiences of being abused whilst out running, but only 5% of these women had reported the abuse to the police. More broadly, 82% of respondents said they have safety concerns around running and take a multitude of measures when out to increase their feelings of safety.

What is the role of policymakers in changing perceptions and challenging the normalisation of harassment and abuse in local areas? What needs to change when incidents such as this are reported to the police? How can we make public spaces safer for women, girls and gender diverse communities? 

Join Dr Caroline Miles and Professor Rosemary Broad to hear more about their research - which brings together existing police data, new original survey research, and audio diaries recorded by women runners - and recommendations for policymakers across Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

When: Wednesday 17 July 2024, 1.00pm-2.30pm (with registration and light lunch from 12.30pm)

Where: The University of Manchester (room to be shared on registration)


  • Dr Caroline Miles, Senior Lecturer in Criminology
  • Professor Rosemary Broad, Professor of Criminology
  • Eve Holt, Strategic Director, GM Moving
  • Emma Moseley, Senior Policy Manager, Trafford Council
  • Chaired by: Professor Arpana Verma, Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester

Registration: Email policy@manchester.ac.uk with your name, title, and organisation, as well as any dietary and access requirements.