Our commitment to preventing violence against women and girls
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Speaking today Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, North Yorkshire Police’s Lead for Safeguarding said:
“Everyone has the right to feel safe.
“For some time now the safety of women and girls has been a major concern for many. The shocking murder of Sarah Everard, originally from York, sparked an outpouring of public anger and raised questions about how we as a society, Government and key agencies can work together to stop violence.
“Preventing violence against women and girls, safeguarding victims, pursuing and prosecuting perpetrators and protecting vulnerable people is a key priority for North Yorkshire Police and has been the central strand throughout both our control strategy and the police and crime plan for a number of years. In 2017, we were the second force in the UK to add misogyny into our hate crime definition and we strive for gender equality at every level of policing, with 587 serving female police officers and 987 female staff, volunteers and Special Constables supporting Chief Constable Lisa Winward, who is the second woman to hold that position for North Yorkshire Police.
“While national crime data consistently shows North Yorkshire to be one of the safest places to live and visit in the UK, we are not complacent about that. Helping our communities to feel and be safe is at the very centre of what we do every day. Our patrol plans are flexible and intelligence-lead, so that we can ensure local communities have the police support and visibility they need, when they need it. The policing of the night-time economy is a priority for our local commands, ensuring those who both participate and work in it are safe. In our role within local Community Safety Partnerships, we work closely with key partners to highlight any issues within our communities and provide collaborative solutions to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Sadly though, it has to be recognised that for many women and girls the threat of harm does not come from being outdoors. For the vast majority of those at risk, home is the most dangerous place to be.
“Over the past year our officers and staff have undergone some transformative domestic abuse training. The Domestic Abuse Matters training is a cultural change programme delivered by the national domestic abuse charity SafeLives. Designed to challenge attitudes and behaviours, it provides a unique insight into the insidious nature of coercive control and domestic abuse, enabling officers to identify the signs of abuse, understand the behaviours in play and provide more effective safeguarding to victims. We are pleased to say the training has had a direct impact on the operational response and support being provided to victims.
“Alongside our response to reports of abuse, manging the long-term safety of victims is also of paramount importance and effective information sharing is key to this process. We are currently working alongside the Courts and the Police National Database piloting a new process which will improve the quality and transfer of information about non-molestation orders. Better quality information will allow officers to take quicker and more effective enforcement action if a breach of the order takes place, keeping victims and those at risk safe.
“However, despite the influential role we play, we recognise that violence against women and girls is not just a policing issue, but a wider societal problem which requires a collaborative solution. We work very closely with key agencies such as health, child protection, housing, probation, drug and alcohol services, our commissioned service for domestic abuse IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services) and other specialists from the voluntary sector to identify the needs of victims and ensure those needs are met through a coordinated, shared action plan.
“We continue to work proactively with our partner agencies to identify both serial perpetrators of abuse and those who are displaying early signs of abusive behaviour. By engaging with them through support and education, we work to actively reduce the risk they pose and prevent an escalation of dangerous offending behaviour, taking enforcement action when and where required.
“I cannot emphasise enough the commitment we have to reduce and eliminate the threat of harm in our communities and how seriously we take our responsibility to protect and safeguard the vulnerable. North Yorkshire Police will continue to work closely alongside our key partners to deliver a safer future for all.
“Finally, to those who are experiencing violence, abuse or intimidation, I would ask you to please speak to us. You will be listened to, you will be believed and respected and we will do everything in our power to help you.”
If you are experiencing abuse, violence or intimidation you can report it to North Yorkshire Police by calling 101. In an emergency always dial 999 and we will respond to you.
If you do not want to speak to the police, help is still available. IDAS is the largest specialist charity in Yorkshire which provides support services to all those experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. Visit www.idas.org.uk for more information or call 03000 110 110.
Originally posted on 30 September 2021 at 04:22pm in News stories