Urgent action needed to tackle crime against women and girls
Cross-sector reform to protect women and girls from violent offences is needed immediately, according to an interim report produced by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
The report on tackling the crime epidemic against women and girls acknowledges that the police have made vast improvements over the last decade in responding to these offences. However, system-wide change is needed, which cannot be achieved by the police alone.
HMICFRS stated there is an epidemic of offending against women and girls. In the 12 months up to March 2020, 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse. A whole-system approach is needed to tackle this, involving policing, the Crown Prosecution Service, health, social care and education.
Several recommendations have been made by HMICFRS, including:
- the government, police, criminal justice system and public sector should immediately and unequivocally commit to prioritising the response to violence against women and girls, supported by sufficient funding and mandated responsibilities
- the police should make the relentless pursuit and disruption of perpetrators a national priority, and their capability and capacity to do this should be enhanced
- funding and structures should be put in place to ensure victims receive tailored and consistent support