Home chief: female safety our priority

HOME AFFAIRS has pledged to make the safety of women and girls in the Bailiwick a priority, and has urged everyone to consider how language and behaviour can impact on others.

People held their mobile phone lights during a vigil and peaceful protest for women affected by gender violence held at the Market Square, St Peter Port. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29369288)
People held their mobile phone lights during a vigil and peaceful protest for women affected by gender violence held at the Market Square, St Peter Port. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 29369288)

Amid the national conversation about male attitudes towards women, Deputy Rob Prow, the president of the committee, said that the whole community needed to listen and show support to those who have ever felt unsafe.

The justice review is regarded as key to tackling the problems, but it is a major undertaking with no firm timeline for implementation.

However, Deputy Prow stressed that it was a matter of utmost importance.

‘The police are continually seeking opportunities to reassess the way it deals with crime committed against women and police officers will continue to take a strong approach in this area when patrolling the night-time economy.

‘However, this is not something that Law Enforcement alone can address, as with many justice issues we need a whole island solution.

‘As a society we must understand how the language we might use or our behaviour, individually and collectively impact on others.

‘Home Affairs is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that everyone in our community feels safe and secure.

‘This is a key aim of the committee as it embarks on the justice review which it has highlighted as a priority piece of work in the Government Work Plan.’

The killing of Sarah Everard in London has instigated a much wider debate about the safety of women and girls, and the poor experiences of those who have reported misogyny to the police.

Deputy John Gollop raised the whole issue in the Assembly with a series of questions.

He wanted to know whether registers could be established of perpetrators of domestic violence, criminal harassment and other activities, and whether misogyny could be made a hate crime.

Deputy Prow responded that developments elsewhere were being closely monitored.

Bailiwick Law Enforcement currently operates an intelligence-led policing philosophy and, operationally, a neighbourhood policing approach is taken in terms of front-line deployment.

The night-time economy, particularly at the weekends, has high visibility police patrols in the busiest areas.

As part of the justice review, Deputy Prow committed to increased working with the douzaines and other stakeholders to improve street lighting and CCTV coverage.

‘There is currently comprehensive CCTV coverage in many public areas which have been identified as potential areas of concern, this is monitored by JESCC.

‘The adequacy of lighting and CCTV in these areas is something that will be kept under active review, increased provision will require investment.

‘It is important that we recognise this is only part of the solution to ensuring individuals feel safe.

‘We must work together across government, the third sector and will the community to understand what we can do that will make an immediate difference today.’

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