Merseyside Police is about to embark on its biggest-ever consultation with women and girls across Merseyside to gain a wider understanding of how safe they feel in the areas they live, work and socialise.
Last year Merseyside Police set out its strategy, which reaffirmed its commitment to keeping women and girls safe across Merseyside. Police pledged to take action to:
- engage and involve women and girls in its work to tackle violence and intimidation they face
- help men understand the part they have to play in eliminating violence against women and girls
- address feelings of safety
- work with partners to ensure a coordinated and effective response to prevent and tackle violence against women and girls.
- improve the internal culture of the force to respond effectively to address sexism, misogyny and any breaches of the standard of professional behaviour
The survey, which has been compiled in consultation with partners, will allow Merseyside Police to further develop and build on the work it is already doing to engage with women and girls to tackle violence against them.
Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine, who is leading this work for Merseyside Police, said, “The survey is one of the many ways we are engaging with women and girls within our communities. We want as many women and girls as possible to complete the short survey, which is anonymous, to ensure we get the widest range of views, to help us understand how we can take action and support them.
“We want women and girls to understand how committed we are to tackling VAWG, with our partners, and we want them to trust us to do this.
Chief Superintendent Waine added, “I would urge you to take the time to complete the survey and help us to better understand your fears, feelings and ideas, to help you feel safer.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “Tackling Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a priority for me and I know it is a priority for the Chief Constable. It is essential we make our region a safer place for women and girls to live, work and visit, free from harassment, abuse and violence.
“To do that, it is essential we listen to women’s experiences, so I welcome this consultation from Merseyside Police to take on board their views about what more policing can do to keep them safe and put effective measures in place that respond to those fears and concerns.
“This consultation is designed to build on the survey I ran 18 months ago and will inform the ongoing work being driven by my VAWG Delivery Plan to make our region safer, so I would urge you, please share your views today.”
Geraldine O’Driscoll, Temporary Director of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, said, “The focus of our approach is to work positively with young people and address notions such as misogyny at their root, through a number of programmes such as Mentors in Violence Prevention, currently running within schools. As our core audience is young people, we seek to allay their fears around and exposure to, gender-based violence. We base our approach on a solid evidence base, and therefore data is needed to make sure that work is properly targeted and highly effective. We would urge women to speak up and not accept things as they are, so that together we can tackle violence against women and girls for good.”
Kathy Hodson, Chair of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People & Education Committee, said, “Women and girls deserve to feel safe at all times as they go about their busy lives. Whether that be on our streets, in our schools, while using our public transport network and in their own homes.
“Hearing the views of women and girls on how safe they feel, when navigating public and private spaces, is vital to tackling gendered violence in our region.
“I want to encourage as many women and girls as possible to complete the short survey, which is anonymous, to help Merseyside Police and other services understand how to better support them and make positive changes.”
The survey forms part of a wider consultation taking place, which will also involve speaking to men, schools, partners, victims, survivors, and officers and staff in Merseyside Police. We all need to work together to tackle and prevent violence against women and girls.
You can take part in the survey here: https://online1.snapsurveys.com/MerpolVAWG2