It’s a Matter of Priority – week of action focuses on Violence Against Women and Girls
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The second week of a twelve-week surge to tackle Northamptonshire Police’s four Matters of Priority begins today with a focus on Violence Against Women and Girls.
Violence against women and girls is one of the four crime types Northamptonshire Police is focusing on over the next three years as a Matter of Priority. The others are drug harm, serious and organised crime, and serious violence.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by violence and abuse, which includes rape and sexual offences, domestic abuse, honour-based abuse, and stalking and harassment.
In addition, they are also more likely to be affected by inappropriate contact, catcalling, misogyny, explicit messaging, and unwanted touching – and although these behaviours may not all meet a criminal threshold, they could be precursors for further offending, and add to women feeling unsafe.
Detective Chief Inspector Nickie Deeks is leading the week of action, which includes a range of activities to tackle violence against women and girls. She said: “The Force is committed to helping the county create an environment that is free of fear and harassment and where women and girls can feel safe and be safe wherever they are within Northamptonshire.
“We’ll be using the week to raise awareness and to send a strong message that violence and abusive behaviour towards women is not acceptable. We will focus our operational activity on outstanding warrants, and ensuring protection orders are being adhered to.
“We acknowledged at the launch of our VAWG strategy a few weeks ago, that we cannot tackle this issue alone, there needs to be widespread societal change driving this, support from our partners and help from our communities. During this week of activity, we will continue to build on that message.
“As part of that work, we’ll be sharing information about free training to help bystanders tackle street harassment. Our Neighbourhood Officers will be chatting with teenagers about consent and appropriate behaviours, and the Emergency Service Cadets will be out and about with leaflets and posters to help local businesses spot the signs of exploitation.
“During the week, we’ll be providing training to the Safer Nights Out Van volunteers to help them support vulnerable people on a night out. In addition, some of our specialist officers and multi-agency partners will also be undertaking trauma informed training to better support victims of violence and abuse.
“We are also using the week of action to share information videos, encourage the public to call out harassment when they see it, and to highlight the support, help and advice available to victims.
“I hope the communities of Northamptonshire will get behind us and support the work we are doing; we need to see a shift in societal attitudes that normalise and tolerate the abuse of women and girls. We need to stand together to put a stop to it.”