Policing must be ‘unrelenting’ in rooting out perpetrators of VAWG within their ranks, say PCCs
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) says policing must “take every possible step” to root out perpetrators of violence against women and girls (VAWG) within the service.
The first assessment of police performance published this week by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) shows more than 1,000 complaints were made against police officers and staff relating to their treatment of women in a six-month period to March 2022.
APCC joint leads for victims and VAWG, Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, said: “Policing leaders must take every possible step to root out those in their workforce who do not uphold the high standard expected of them. It is only then that they can seriously and robustly tackle violence against women and girls in the wider community.
“The publication of this report is an important step in ensuring complete transparency and accountability in the police’s performance in tackling violence against women and girls.
“Whilst the statistics will be alarming, it is vital these are made available and that progress against the framework is strictly monitored if we are to get a grip on this epidemic and build back trust and confidence with the public and victims of these heinous crimes.”
Surrey’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Lisa Townsend said forces must be “unrelenting” in rooting out perpetrators of VAWG within their ranks.
She said: “I have been clear in my views that any police officer involved in violence towards women and girls is not fit to wear to wear the uniform and we must be unrelenting in rooting out perpetrators from the service.
“The vast majority of our officers and staff both here in Surrey and across the country are dedicated, committed and work around the clock to keep our communities safe.
“Sadly, as we have seen in recent times, they have been let down by the actions of a minority whose behaviour tarnishes their reputation and damages that public trust in policing which we know is so important.
“Policing is at a critical juncture where forces across the country are seeking to rebuild that trust and regain the confidence of our communities.”
Ms Townsend said the NPCC report shows that police forces “still have more to do to effectively tackle misogynistic and predatory behaviour in their ranks”.
“Where there is clear evidence that anyone has been involved in this type of behaviour – I believe they must face the toughest possible sanctions including being sacked and barred from ever re-joining the service,” she added.
Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Restoring public trust and confidence in policing is crucial and being transparent in how policing polices itself is a step forward.
“No area of police remains untainted by these figures and it is shocking that is has taken such appalling acts of depravity by serving police officers to bring this to the fore. Policing needs this scrutiny, and accountability, to the public.”