PCC responds to release of new framework on policing VAWG

PCC Emily Spurrell

Merseyside's Police Commissioner has responded to the publication today (Wednesday 15th December) of a new national framework for policing violence against women and girls (VAWG).

The framework has been produced by the National Police Chiefs' Council and the College of Policing following a recommendation from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) which concluded that, while great improvements have been made in the policing response to VAWG over the last decade, these were not enough.

The report found significant inconsistencies in the service that forces provide to women and girls across England and Wales. The inspectorate recommended a fundamental shift in prioritisation, aimed at bringing greater consistency and universally higher standards.

The publication of year 1 of the framework focuses on the areas that policing can help to improve immediately, while years 2 and 3 will focus on the wider community and partnership approaches needed to deliver sustainable change.

Commenting on the publication of the framework, Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “No woman or girl suffering male violence should experience a postcode lottery response from the police.

“I welcome this framework which focuses on a shift of culture to ensure VAWG is prioritised and aims to ensure police forces across the country are providing a consistent, standardised response for all victims and survivors.

“It’s positive to see a series of wide-ranging actions laid out focused on ensuring perpetrators are relentlessly pursued, establishing a culture which roots out misogyny and concentrates on listening to women with lived experience.

“Police forces will be required to implement these actions within specific timeframes and, as a result, I hope this will lead to real, tangible improvements being made quickly. Doing so will be a key way police forces can help to rebuild women’s trust and confidence, which was badly shaken by the devastating murder of Sarah Everard and other recent cases of police officers abusing their position of trust.

“This is an important first step, but it is vital that this is more than just warm words or a plan on paper. It must be followed up with concrete action. As such, I am pleased this framework includes a call for all police forces to develop local action plans by March 2022. As Police Commissioner, I have a critical role scrutinising the performance of the Chief Constable in delivering an effective police force and I will be monitoring closely how Merseyside Police responds to the release of this framework.

“It is right though that police forces cannot tackle VAWG on their own. Looking ahead, it is vital this framework considers how the police can work more effectively with partners in criminal justice, community safety and beyond so that victims and survivors know their voices and needs will be met.

"Long-term, the goal must be to detail how the police can support a whole-system approach which aims to put a stop to VAWG for good.”

Read Policing violence against women and girls - national framework: Year 1