Government sets out plans to tackle violence against women and girls


PUBLISHED 22 Feb 2023

IN News

Cambridgeshire Police Federation chair Liz Groom has welcomed proposals to protect women and girls from harassment, aggression and violence.

She said violence against women and girls is at an epidemic level that needed a partnership approach to tackling.

Liz was commenting after the Government yesterday published its new Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) which requires police forces to treat violence against women and girls as a national threat.

This means tackling these crimes will be as important as threats like terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse.

According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), an estimated 6.9 per cent of women aged 16 and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022; this equates to an estimated 1.7 million women.

Liz said: “This is not before time. Violence against women and girls is at an epidemic level. We see it every day and the impact on victims’ lives is shocking.

“Women and girls shouldn’t live in fear of violence, harassment or coercion and should feel safe to be able to live their lives, to go to work, to get their education and to enjoy social activities.

“But police can’t solve this alone. It needs a whole system approach with services such as the criminal justice system, education, health and social care working together.

“And it needs the right investment from Government to not only ensure we can tackle this as a priority but that victims receive proper support that they need.”

Under the new proposals the law will be changed so offenders convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour and sentenced to a year or more imprisonment or a suspended sentence will be jointly managed by the police, prison and probation services.

They will be added to the violent and sex offenders’ register too.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “Domestic abuse is a despicable crime that leads to people’s closest relationships becoming a frightening existence of torment, pain, fear, and anxiety.

“It is completely unacceptable and as Home Secretary I will do everything in my power to stop it.

“The wide-ranging measures announced today will mean the most dangerous offenders will be watched more closely and added to the violent and sex offender register.

“Also, police forces in England and Wales will now have to treat violence against women and girls as a national threat and more victims will be protected from harm.”

The SPR sets out the Home Secretary’s view of what the current national threats are, and the national policing capabilities needed to counter those threats.

Suella Braverman