Preventing Violence against Women & girls and Domestic Abuse update
The newly formed stakeholder partnership for preventing violence against women and girls and domestic abuse met in July to share insights and discuss recent initiatives. Highlights from the meeting are provided here:
Introducing the Ambassadors
The meeting began with an introduction to the three newly appointed Ambassadors: Ian Dyson QPM, DL (former Commissioner of the City of London Police); Elisabeth Mainelli (Consort to Alderman and Sheriff, Professor Michael Mainelli, Sheriff of the City of London); and Sarah Jane Cork (Chief Growth Officer at City Group Security).
A New Name
The group decided on a new name for this initiative, weaving ‘Prevent’ into the title to become: ‘Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls and Domestic Abuse’. This decision emphasises the group’s commitment to proactive intervention.
British Transport Police (BTP) Strengthening Railway Guardian app and Communication Strategies
Paul Furnell of BTP shared how the Railway Guardian app now has an impressive user base of 70,000 and has been adopted by several companies. BTP has reviewed its communication strategy, including the bystander campaign that encourages people to intervene when witnessing abuse or violence. Additionally, BTP is piloting Domestic Abuse, Safeguarding and VAWG training and accreditation which may become a requirement for all officers and support staff.
You can find the Railway Guardian app in the app store on your phone. For more information see: www.btp.police.uk
City of London Police (CoLP) improving Police Training and Engagement
Kate McLeod of CoLP offered insights into the Professionalism and Trust (PRAT) initiative. Rooted in three national pillars – Trust and Confidence, Relentlessly Pursuing/Unwanted Attention, and Creating Safer Places – PRAT aims to strengthen officer capabilities. The programme includes bystander training, challenge strategies, listening circles, and roleplay.
For more information visit: www.cityoflondon.police.uk
The Met’s Drive for Trust and Engagement
Matt Turner of the National police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Metropolitan Police explained how they are looking to deliver more trust and less crime with preventing violence against women and girls central to this. They have recently carried out a related survey with 10,000 responses. The NBCC has four key areas – Criminal Justice (this includes protective orders and victim/survivor services), Culture, and Conduct VAWG Operation Model, and VAWG Digital (crime prevention initiatives).
Safe Havens, E-Training, and Webinars
Beth Nash of the Safer Business Network (SBN) introduced the concept of ‘Safe Havens’ through an animated video, outlining requirements for 24/7 buildings. Their focus on hospitality venues has included the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative and an e-training tool to enhance awareness and welfare being launched in September to coincide with freshers’ week.
Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) supporting the response in the workplace
Ayesha Fordham of the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) highlighted the launch of their bi-monthly webinars, showcasing the wealth of advice and resources available for member organisations. This free-to-join charity has domestic abuse policy templates ready-made for all sizes of organisation and expert advice to support employers to develop their domestic abuse response. Their handbook is currently being refreshed and will be launched at their annual conference in March 2024. Learn more and join here: www.eida.org.uk
Don Randall MBE, Chairman City of London Crime Prevention Association outlined three impactful initiatives which are currently seeking POCA (Proceeds of Crime) funding. These proposals include re-introducing the Taxi-Marshalling scheme in the City of London; a dedicated Safer Business Network team member for City initiatives; and a dedicated data analyst for this public/private partnership.
Relaunching the Building Accreditation Scheme
Don Oakley from NSI described how the NSI is working with the City of London Crime Prevention Association (CoLCPA) to improve the Building Accreditation Scheme. It will now include checking premises for trauma packs, Project Kestrel training, Safe Haven, ‘Ask for Angela’ at hospitality venues, and Domestic Abuse Policies.
The pilot is planned for September with the aim of going live in January. It will provide an independent security assessment by a third party of business premises. Look out for updates on the CoLCPA website: www.cityoflondoncpa.org.uk
Evolving Solutions: Walksafe app and Safe Havens app
Emma Kay’s presentation on the Walksafe app showcased its tracking capabilities and safe space mapping. Budweiser is sponsoring a national campaign to promote this app and they have already had 800k downloads and 80K users.
Learn more here https://walksafe.io and you can find the app in the app store on your phone.
The group also discussed the Safe Haven app. A Safe Haven is a 24-hour security-operated property that allows temporary place of refuge should someone come into difficulty.
The Safe Haven app provides a range of services related to Safe Havens.