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Work to tackle violence against women and girls praised in report

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services published their final report into how the police deal with violence against women and girls on Friday last week.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, welcomed the recognition given to Cheshire Police for their efforts to tackle the issue.

The report was commissioned by Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP, in response to the murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year. It also follows Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which estimate that in the year ending March 2020 1.6 million women were subjected to domestic abuse, over 600,000 women aged 16-74 were sexually assaulted and nearly 900,000 women aged 16-59 were stalked.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said: “These figures don’t lie. These are abhorrent crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls and this report shows how vital it is that we get to grips with the problem. Behind these statistics are real stories of our sisters, mothers and daughters who have been targeted and victimised.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is an integral part of my Police and Crime Plan and I want to see Cheshire at the forefront of not only this charge, but the fight to tackle the male victims of these crimes too. I want all victims to know that I will be their champion.”

The ‘notable practice’ sections of the report frequently mentioned the work that Cheshire Police had undertaken to tackle violence against women and girls including holding weekly online engagement forums and distributing stalking and harassment information packs from the Alice Ruggles Trust to students during freshers’ week. The report also noted the support provided for victims through the Constabulary’s Harm Reduction Unit and the pilot of a vulnerability and safeguarding team in the force’s control room.

John Dwyer added: “I’ve seen the great work that Cheshire Constabulary does first-hand at their ‘Our Door Is Open’ roadshow earlier this year, which offered support to victims of domestic abuse around the county.

“I’m delighted that our efforts to tackle crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls have been highlighted in this report, but I’m under no illusion that we have a long way to go. I’ll continue to support the Constabulary in any way I can so we can continue making progress on this issue.”

You can read the full report at:

www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/publications/police-response-to-violence-against-women-and-girls/

Pictured - John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire (centre), at Cheshire Police’s ‘Our Door Is Open’ campaign roadshow.

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