Action to continue being taken to combat violence against women and girls
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We’re joining forces across England and Wales to target those intent on causing harm to women and girls within our communities.
A national framework was launched today (15/12) that sets out what is required from our officers and staff to combat violence against women and girls, build their trust and confidence within our communities and put our focus on perpetrators.
Here in Wiltshire, we have already been ensuring a focus on tackling perpetrator behaviour.
Earlier this year, we launched our ongoing Project Vigilant campaign, which is targeting those showing signs which are often displayed before sexual offences occur and intervening before they happen.
In the wake of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, we also responded to public concerns, particularly from women, about interactions with police officers.
We set up a simple verification process which allows the public to confirm the officer is on duty, with the checks proactively offered by officers.
While Swindon will benefit from £550,000 of Government funding to increase the public safety of public spaces for all, with a particular focus on tackling violence against women and girls following the successful bid led by Swindon Borough Council and supported by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.
However, this joint work between the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing is a collective shift in ensuring that policing is able to prioritise the addressing of violence against women and girls by forces across the country so that victims receive a consistently high standard of service wherever they are, whatever the crime and wherever it is committed.
Supt Sarah Robbins, Wiltshire Police’s lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, said: “Everyone in our communities should be able to feel safe and improvements have already been made in the policing response to violence against women and girls.
“However, in the last year, we’ve listened to our communities who have made it clear that we need to continue to explore all possible opportunities to reduce violence against women and girls and restore their confidence in the police.
“It is important this doesn’t fall on deaf ears, which is why a framework like this, ensuring victims get a consistently high standard of service, whatever the crime and wherever it is committed, is essential.
“As we did during our Project Vigilant campaign, we want to make it clear that those intent on causing harm to women and girls should be in no doubt that we are targeting them.
“We want to turn the tables to ensure perpetrators of these crimes feel under threat from us and change their behaviours, not women and girls wanting to go about their lives.
“We are committed to making these long-lasting changes, and, as part of this, we will also be looking inwards - at ourselves - to create a culture within Wiltshire Police where officers and staff can be confident and comfortable about speaking out about behaviour that falls below our high standard, and that any such behaviours can be appropriately addressed.”
If you have been the victim of a crime, you can report it online here - Report a crime | Wiltshire Police or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency or if a sexual assault has just occurred.
If you feel uncomfortable on a night out in Wiltshire, you can also ‘Ask for Angela’ at participating venues where staff will be trained to offer you support. You can find more info and participating venues here - Ask for Angela - Wiltshire Council.
You can also use the Government’s online tool ‘StreetSafe’ to flag areas on a map where you don’t feel safe, from poorly lit walkways to instances of public harassment, regardless of whether a crime has taken place here StreetSafe | Police.uk (www.police.uk).
We have also created some FAQs to provide some reassurance about the action we are taking to rebuild the trust and confidence of our communities.