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First and foremost policing must ensure its own house is in order

05 October 2021

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) welcome today’s announcement of an independent inquiry which will look at the events which preceded Sarah Everard’s murder, and identify what needs to change to rebuild public trust.

 

Joint APCC Victims Leads Sophie Linden and Donna Jones said: “Women and girls need to have faith in policing’s ability to keep them safe, just as policing needs the support of the public to police by consent. Recent events have shattered that bond of trust and so we welcome today’s announcement by the Home Secretary, supported by the Mayor of London, of an independent inquiry.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers and staff are appalled by what has happened and are saddened that UK Policing has been brought into disrepute. A robust and thorough review of vetting processes, and also the culture and attitudes of those who serve within policing, is the only way to identify what needs to change and to restore that lost trust.

“PCCs recognise the importance of a whole-system societal approach to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls. Many of the issues which affect the confidence of women and girls – court backlogs and low prosecution rates for rape and sexual offences, for example – go beyond the policing response. We need to look at better education, prevention, and wrap-around support for victims.

“But first and foremost policing must ensure its own house is in order. We need a zero tolerance culture in which police officers and staff in all forces are encouraged to call out racist, sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic attitudes wherever they see or hear them. And the public needs to see and believe that is happening.

“PCCs will not wait for the outcome of this inquiry for action to be taken. As the voice of the public in policing, advocating on behalf of victims, we are holding our local Chief Constables to account to ensure action is being taken at a local level right now to address these issues and the public’s concerns.”

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