More action needed to stop violence against women and girls

Published on 17 September 2021
Final inspection report finds cross-system approach needed
2 mins read
Police officer and police vehicle at night

A new report has called for police forces and other organisations to take a new approach to prioritise tackling violence against women and girls.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) carried out a detailed review of the policing response to violence against women and girls (VAWG) as part of the report, from prevention work in schools to the management of the most dangerous offenders.

This follows on from an interim report published in July 2021 with initial findings and recommendations from HMICFRS. 

HMICFRS said the police had made vast improvements in the response to VAWG over the last decade, including better identification of repeat victims and improved safeguarding measures.

But the inspectorate also found several areas where police need to improve, including concerns about the number of VAWG cases closed without charge, and gaps in the data recorded on VAWG offences.

Responding to the report, Bernie O’Reilly, interim CEO of the College of Policing, said:

No one should have to live in fear of violence and everyone in policing recognises we have to do more to better protect women and girls.

Today’s report acknowledges that police have made vast improvements in responding to violence against women and girls over the last decade but also highlights the extent of the challenge and the fact that further action is needed.

It is clear that the police cannot deliver all of the necessary protections for women and girls alone, this can only be achieved by greater co-ordination between all key bodies and organisations.

The College plays an important role by providing officers and staff with the best possible training and support around safeguarding and by working with forces across England and Wales to ensure they adopt consistently high standards of practice.

We will consider the report’s recommendations in detail and continue working with our colleagues across government and policing to ensure our advice and guidance best equips policing to continue protecting women and girls.

The College of Policing has published a range of training, guidance and research for police forces in England and Wales to support them in tackling violence against women.

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