Action being taken to tackle Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse in 2023
Throughout 2023, City Security magazine, in partnership with the City of London Crime Prevention Association and CSSC, is putting the spotlight on initiatives, ideas and action being taken to tackle and prevent violence against women and girls and domestic abuse.
Here we provide a collection of related training and updates:
Safer Business Network training events
Safer Business Network is a Community Interest Company, bringing businesses together with the police to create safe, successful and profitable town and city centres through information sharing, collaboration and upskilling.
London is a safe city, but too many women feel unsafe when travelling, working or socialising, both during the day and at night. Safer Business Network has been working with stakeholders to prioritise women’s safety in London. We work with the City of London Police, the City of London Corporation, and licensed venues to help keep people safe while enjoying a night out. Together we have delivered the WAVE Programme, including Ask for Angela, for staff teams across the City’s diverse and vibrant hospitality sector, with 95% of people saying the training has positively affected how they will work in the future.
People who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened can seek discreet help by approaching staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This code-phrase will indicate to staff that the peron requires help with their situation and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them. The venue can then support the vulnerable person through an appropriate intervention.
There are many ways you can get involved
We run free training events across the year. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also host monthly online WAVE sessions for staff and security:
We all have a part to play in keeping women and girls safe, and your intervention could make all the difference.
Hannah Wadey, Safer Business Network
The City of London Police responds to Violence against Women and Girls
The City of London Police works in partnership with the City of London Corporation to continually enhance the City of London’s response to violence against women and girls. Below, we highlight some of the initiatives that support this partnership and the delivery of the objectives of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) violence against women and girls strategy.
Improving trust and confidence in policing
The City of London Police is committed to improving internal and external trust and confidence. The new Policing Plan outlines the operational priority to keep those who live, work, and visit the City safe and feel safe. We know that we must do more to earn the trust and confidence of our communities: in particular, women and girls. To achieve this, we must ensure that our officers and staff uphold the highest professional standards.
Commissioner Angela McLaren recently said in our internal communication strategy:
“We’ve increased awareness of behaviours and conduct that are unacceptable, giving you the confidence to raise concerns, and highlighted the different routes through which these can be reported. We have reviewed historic cases, taking the learning from these; and strengthened our vetting processes. It’s the responsibility of everyone working in policing to restore public trust in the service we provide. We are committed to improving and are acting decisively to ensure that we consistently deliver the highest professional standards to all the communities we serve.”
As part of improving external trust and confidence, the City of London Police has launched a new Inclusivity Programme This is a force-wide initiative aiming to provide a contemporary, engaging approach to diversity and inclusion education.
Instead of a one-off classroom course, officers and staff can choose from a menu of activities on various aspects of diversity and inclusion.
Staff must engage in at least one of the sessions every six months as part of their continuing professional development.
There is a wide range of activities, including:
- Community Day Initiatives – officers and staff can spend time in an organisation within their local community that they may not usually interact with (such as a charity or church group), reflecting back on their experiences in a blog or journal entry.
- Bystander training, supporting learners to actively challenge inappropriate comments or behaviour in relation to race.
• ‘Mentivity’ sessions – discussion-based learning on issues relating to race and ethnicity.
- Theatre workshops exploring inclusivity in a creative environment
Raj Kohli, Chief Superintendent, Hampshire Police, who has been part of developing the programme has commented: “What particularly excites me is the CoLP’s approach to learning and understanding the issues – the menu of options is incredible and allows people to experience the learning in a way that suits every individual. I am also excited to see the CoLP approaching this from endeavouring to be institutionally inclusive. Finally, the top level support from colleagues has been obvious and visible. It is this support that will maximise the chances of the success of this very exciting programme.”
Relentlessly pursue perpetrators
The City of London Police is committed to bringing more perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice, working with partner agencies as a “whole system” response. This also includes work to reduce case attrition and to address the concerns and experiences of the victims. As part of this response, 270 front-line officers have now been trained in the First Response programme: Domestic Abuse Matters. Phase Two started in April 2023 and will capture the remainder of the officers. The notion of using ‘Domestic Abuse (DA) Matters Champions’ is being reinvigorated with an aim to train between 30 and 35 ‘champions’ across the force, to ensure we provide a high-quality service to all victims.
Vulnerability training launched in May 2023; this phase focuses on cyber-enabled domestic abuse. Both vulnerability training and DA Matters training is mandatory for all front-line officers and staff, along with those who engage with members of the public.
Creating safer spaces
This area of work focuses on protecting women and girls in public spaces, at home and online. We will continue to work closely with our partners and, in particular, the City of London Corporation to protect women from victimisation in these spaces. Operation Reframe – covered in the previous edition of City Security magazine – continues working in partnership to keep the City safe, especially at night.
City of London Police – Walk and Talk
Women visiting, working or living in the City of London can ‘Walk and Talk’ with City of London Police officers, to share their thoughts on safety and how we can bring about a positive change. Walk and Talk is open to women aged 18 and above, living or working in the City of London, who would like to walk with an officer and discuss their views on women’s safety.
Those who take part in a ‘Walk and Talk’ can share their views and experiences with officers as they walk through any areas they may feel vulnerable in. Patrols can take place at any time, including in those areas where there is less footfall, traffic or light, so officers can get a real sense of what their concerns might be.
Police Constable Claire Geldart, Walk & Talk Coordinator, says: “The aim of the ‘Walk and Talk’ is to start a conversation between members of the public and police officers, so we in the City of London Police can listen and respond to concerns.” She is keen to spread the word to females who live/work or commute into the city who you feel may benefit.
You can register to join a ‘Walk and Talk’ in the City of London through Eventbrite or email: email@example.com
If you are interested in any of these City of London Police initiatives and would like to discuss them further, please contact:
Detective Superintendent Kate MacLeod firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stand up to harassment training from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust
In April 2022, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust started delivering Stand Up Against Harassment training, in partnership with L’Oreal Paris. This training is designed to empower delegates to be active bystanders when they see harassment taking place, without putting their own personal safety at risk.
Research from both L’Oréal Paris and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has found that 80% of women in the UK have reported experiencing harassment in public spaces and 88% of people in the UK have experienced some form of unwanted behaviour on public transport in the past five years, despite reduced footfall during the pandemic, with the most common behaviours being staring, intimidatingly sitting or standing right by someone, and verbal abuse.
These free one-hour webinars are available to book throughout the year, focusing on the 5Ds of bystander intervention, which was originally pioneered by Right To Be. One attendee said: “The 5Ds are excellent and allow everyone to feel empowered and ready to be a good bystander. I genuinely feel ready if I ever witness harassment again.”
It deepens understanding of street harassment and its impact. Then, talks through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritise your own safety while intervening. It also covers what to do if you’re worried the violence will turn on you and how to avoid escalating the situation, plus what to do if you experience harassment and the tools to safely get your power back.
Exit polls show 98.8% of attendees leave the training feeling like there is at least one thing they can do the next time they witness harassment. This feedback is typical: “Brilliant – short and snappy, clear tools to use and signposted to further resources. Mixture of content through videos, polls, chats and presentations kept me engaged throughout. Highly recommend. I do feel really empowered now both to support others but also as a woman should I face some form of harassment again.”
This is a global programme, aiming to train over 1.5 million people worldwide. It drives awareness of street harassment with a call-to-action for a change in how public harassment is perceived, enabling those who witness it to feel confident to intervene as well as provide support to those being harassed. This is training that is open to everyone and we recommend that you sign up to one of our upcoming Stand Up Against Harassment training courses now. www.suzylamplugh.org/Pages/Events/Category/events