The Metropolitan Police yesterday launched the service’s action plan setting out how it is tackling violence against women and girls in London.
The plan sets out to:
– Increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice for violence against women and girls;
– Improve processes and victim care across the criminal justice system to improve outcomes;
– Reduce the likelihood of women and girls becoming repeat victims;
– Increase women’s confidence in the police and, in doing so, improve the reporting of crimes, which disproportionately affects women and girls in London;
– See an increase in reporting to police, but a decrease in prevalence;
– Intensify work to tackle sexual misconduct and domestic violence by officers and staff.
On Wednesday, 3 November, the Commissioner met with local partners and community groups from Lambeth and Southwark as we start to consult with London’s communities about the action plan. These conversations with partners and the public will continue over the coming months as we further develop our approach to tackling violence against women and girls.
The action plan brings together all of our work to prevent violence against women and girls in public spaces, domestic settings and online, to target perpetrators and to work with the wider criminal justice system to improve outcomes for victims.
The plan also outlines an internal focus to raise the professional standards of officers and staff and root out those who display unacceptable behaviour to women.
The Met is stepping up police activity to prevent night-time violence. This activity includes the Met trialling Project Vigilant, an operation originally developed by Thames Valley Police to tackle predatory offending around the night-time economy. It is being piloted in London in Lambeth and Southwark where teams of plain-clothed and uniform colleagues are being deployed together to identify and prevent predatory offending around busy night-time spots.
Officers continue to work with Safer Sounds and licensing venues, delivering the refreshed safety campaign Ask for Angela and providing vulnerability training to bar and club staff.
The public will see more officers in public spaces. As announced last month, the Met is deploying 650 new officers into new Town Centre Teams to reduce crime and increase confidence in communities through greater visibility.
Patrols of open spaces have also been increased across London and transport hubs – maximising local resources with support from central units.
And across London, local ‘problem profiles’ have been developed to drive local deployments targeting hot spots and high-harm predators.
We will maximise the impact of key units, such as the new Town Centre Teams and specialist units including our Predatory Offenders’ Units. Together these have now arrested more than 2,100 offenders across the Capital, half of which were for domestic abuse offences.
We will further improve our digital investigation, intelligence, the quality of cases and the service we provide to victims. This includes all victims of indecent exposure who will be offered a face-to-face visit from a police officer.
We will continue to increase our officers’ skills. We are currently providing specialist training to 8,500 officers in order to improve their response to domestic abuse. So far 6,800 have been trained.
The Walk and Talk initiative, which began in south London, is now being rolled-out across London, with women joining officers on patrol so that our officers can hear first-hand what needs to change.
The plan also includes details of how we are setting out to raise professional standards within the force to help rebuild trust. This includes an internal initiative that sets out to ensure our people actively intervene and challenge inappropriate behaviour and increases confidence in reporting unacceptable conduct.
Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “Tackling violence remains the Met’s top priority, including crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls. Our officers are working tirelessly to combat violence perpetrated by men against women and to improve and rebuild confidence in the Met. However, we know there is much more we need and must to do to ensure women are safe and feel safe in London.
“We are committed and that means listening and acting on findings and recommendations from independent reviews, listening to what women and girls tell us and learning from best practice.
“This plan focuses on identifying practical solutions that will make a tangible difference to women’s safety in London.
“We will continue to improve and strive to uphold the highest standards so that women, girls and the wider public have confidence that their safety is at the heart of how we operate.
“Today I discussed our plans with key partners and community members in south London and heard their views on what action we need to take. We will continue to engage with our communities over the coming months and report back on our progress in the spring.”