Violence Against Women and Girls

Violence Against Women and Girls banner showing three women side by side looking left to right

West Yorkshire Police is committed to creating an environment where women and girls can feel safe and be safe within the county, free of fear and harassment. As part of the Force’s commitment to reducing Violence Against Women and Girls, it has launched its Strategy, outlining how it intends to ensure that women and girls are safe and feel safe. 

This follows the launch of the National Police Chief’s Council’s (NPCC) national strategy on how forces can support women and girls who are victims of violence and harassment.

As part of this the Force is focusing on three key priorities which are:

  • Pursuit of perpetrators, 
  • Creating safe spaces (in private, public and online),
  • Increasing trust and confidence in policing.

There has already been a significant amount of investment in projects and training across the Force in recent years, including:

  • The Force is now recording misogyny and misandry related crimes, to accurately identify and support victims who have been subjected to abuse or harassment.
  • Recruitment of an additional 65 Investigators and 15 Sergeants in Safeguarding. Further resources are also going into non-recent CSE investigations, Domestic Abuse Teams and Integrated Offender Management officers who work to reduce repeat offending with those individuals causing the most harm to victims. 
  • Launching an ambitious training programme which focuses on vulnerability training, the Serious Sexual Assault Investigators Development Programme, specialist child abuse investigations and video recorded interview training, to improve still further the care for victims and witnesses.
  • The Flagship Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) was opened in 2020 which is used for both child and adult cases and it aims to improve the experiences of victims and witnesses of serious sexual offences.
  • Relaunching our stalking and harassment campaign and focusing on improving our investigation of these complex and harrowing cases.

Further to this, West Yorkshire Police has been successful is securing funding together with West Yorkshire’s Combined Authority through the Safer Street Fund and the Safety of Women at Night fund. This will enable the force to introduce new and innovative ways to make West Yorkshire safe for our residents.

West Yorkshire Police has recently become White Ribbon accredited. This is part of a national campaign to take a stand to end all male violence against women and take action to change behaviours and culture.

Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “I want to outline our clear commitment to tackling violence against women and girls here in West Yorkshire. Following the launch of the national strategy from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, we are now launching our own strategy.

“For many years, we have dedicated significant resource in this area, not just in light of recent events across the country.

“I am delighted have been awarded White Ribbon Accreditation. This is just another example of how West Yorkshire Police is dedicated to ensuring the safety of all women and girls and to changing culture and behaviour of men within our communities.

“I hope that this pledge from West Yorkshire Police today gives our communities across the county the reassurance and confidence that we are committed to ensuring we do everything in our power to accurately identify and pursue perpetrators quickly and to look after and protect victims. We want all women and girls to not only be safe but feel safe in West Yorkshire.”

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin added: “Ensuring the safety of women and girls is a key pledge of mine, and as my Police and Crime Plan nears completion, we are generating ever increasing partnership traction in achieving our goal.

“By working together to address the issues of disproportionality in crimes affecting women and girls, we can have more influence in changing the negative cultures and behaviours that have become ingrained in society over time.

“I’m delighted that West Yorkshire Police has developed its own strategy to protect Women and Girls, running in parallel with the national policy strategy.

“I know there has been excellent work already, but this extra focus can only help us create a safer West Yorkshire.

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