90 days from today is Tue, 27 February 2024
8 September 2023
The first National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing recognition event for police officers, staff, and volunteers who are working to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) was held on 6 September.
The recognition event was developed and judged jointly by police forces and representatives from charities including SafeLives, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, and Karma Nirvana, alongside the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, and police staff associations.
More than 140 entries were received which were initially judged regionally by police and third-sector panels, before being put in front of a national panel who decided the 13 overall winners.
All winning entries had to demonstrate how they built trust and confidence, that their approach was victim-centred and the impact it had, including how they were pursuing perpetrators.
Judges were impressed with the effectiveness of many of the entries, praising officers, staff, and volunteers who listened to victims and survivors, and then shaped their activity accordingly.
Winners include a campaign to tackle misogynistic and sexist behaviour internally (Avon and Somerset Police), reducing violent crime committed against sex workers (Cleveland Police), educational sessions for schools (West Midlands Police), and a survivor of rape who has helped Lincolnshire Police by telling her story of the criminal justice system in order to support other victims.
PFEW National Chair Steve Hartshorn, who sat on the judging panel, expressed the importance of the event. He said: “I was honoured to have been asked to sit as a panel member for the Violence Against Women and Girls recognition event as it is vital to acknowledge the important work forces are dedicating to this cause.
“Recognising the pockets of positive action being carried out by our members, which support a culture change allowing victims to have confidence in the police in that they will be listened to, and they will receive the justice they deserve, is incredibly important.
“However, there is a lot more to be done to improve how victims are assisted and as an organisation we will continue to champion best practices that make a difference to the lives of victims of all forms of violence and abuse.”
The first-ever national strategic threat assessment reported that more than 507,827 VAWG crimes were recorded, amounting to 16 per cent of all crimes over the period between October 2021 and March 2022.