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Thames Valley Police launches Violence against Women and Girls Strategy

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Thames Valley Police is today (April 6) publishing its first strategy to tackle violence against women and girls.

It explores ways in which the policing body can identify and target threats to women and girls both outside and within the force itself.

This comes after sexism and misogyny has been called out within the Metropolitan Police over recent months.

Thames Valley Police launched the strategy today.
Thames Valley Police launched the strategy today.

The rape and murder of Sarah Everard late last year saw the British police force the focus of national headlines with Met police chief Cressida Dick standing down at the end of this week (April 10).

The strategy, which sets out over 15 key objectives, aims to ultimately improve the pursuit of perpetrators, safer spaces, increase victim engagement and reduce disengagement.

It also aims to improve trust and confidence in policing by “robustly” dealing with sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, as well as identifying and removing any in the organisation who pose a risk to women and girls.

It also aims to cooperate with educational establishments in order to engage with young people and educate them as to what is lawful.

Among the key objectives, the strategy sets out to focus on prevention, as well as listening to the experiences of women and girls from all social and ethnic groups.

Thames Valley Police said it will aim to review all current cases of domestic abuse and sexual offences involving police officers and staff to ensure appropriate scrutiny and oversight. It also bids to root out those who abuse their position for sexual purposes.

The force aims to improve its ability to identify, understand and manage what it calls chronic or repeat threats and risks to women and girls.

Tactical lead for violence against women and girls Chief Superintendant Katy Barrow-Grint said: “Our strategy sets out our objectives for dealing with perpetrators and working with partners to identify sexual and violent offending at the earliest opportunity.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to listening to the experiences of women and girls and maintaining excellent victim care to those who find themselves navigating the criminal justice system.

“We are determined to do the very best for girls, women, communities, our staff and the people we work with and this strategy sets out how we will do this, compassionately and resolutely.”

Thames Valley Police has also made more than 50 arrests in March during a designated ‘week of action’. Specialist teams within the force also made arrests in exposure and stalking cases.

In West Berkshire, 12 information and engagement events were held across hotels, children’s homes and licensed premises.

Ms Barrow-Grint added: “Throughout the week we made over 50 arrests, also stopping 31 men for predatory behaviour. Officers also went into schools and colleges, licensed premises and carried out public engagement events to help educate men and women on their behaviours.”

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