The leadership summit, held at Ribby Hall today, Tuesday 6th December, gave organisations across Lancashire, including Police, councils and the NHS the rare opportunity to come together to discuss the vital role they play in tackling VAWG. This allowed them to identify any gaps in service provision and to discuss how they can better work together to develop a consistent and proactive approach to combat VAWG and importantly create wrap-around support for victims across the county.
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner, it was important to me to host this event to bring the Police and our partners together to ensure we are maximising the strength of our existing partnerships to both prevent violence against women and girls and give victims the support they deserve.
“We all have important statutory roles to play in tackling VAWG, but we can’t do it alone. I am making significant investments in co-ordinating VAWG activity across Lancashire, and I have established a new post within my Office, Senior Policy and Partnerships Manager (Victims and Vulnerable People), to work across key-issues and stay up to date on related policies.
“I’m encouraged leaders have today publicly declared their organisations commitment to tackling VAWG and to work together to help shape strategic plans to ensure that national VAWG priorities translate into local action to keep women and girls safe across Lancashire.
“As I continue to lead the fight against crime, tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence remain priorities and I will work with the Constabulary and our partners to bring perpetrators of these awful crimes to justice and to achieve better and faster outcomes for victims.”
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Dawson said: “It’s a privilege to be able to speak at this event. I have strategic responsibility for VAWG across Lancashire Police and over the last 12 months we have developed a comprehensive approach to this issue through work with both the national NPCC taskforce and a range of local partners.
“We have also built on the results of our VAWG survey which has given us a detailed understanding of how women and girls across Lancashire feel about their safety and where they live.
“We are now undertaking bespoke local engagement across our communities and working with our partners on safer streets bids and projects. This is enabling us to improve our preventative work, the quality of our investigations and, as a result, the service we provide to victims.
“Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is a strategic priority and we are absolutely committed to keeping women and girls across Lancashire safe. During the last year we have set up dedicated teams to investigate rape and serious sexual offences and we are also adopting the recommendations from Op Soteria Bluestone – a national piece of work aimed at standardising and improving the outcomes for victims of rape and sexual assault.
“We are also determined to challenge and eradicate any misogynistic behaviour within our organisation and prevent the small minority of officers and staff who may seek to abuse their position so that we can command the confidence of women and girls across the county.”
Lancashire Victim Services, commissioned by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, provides specialist support for victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence. The care team is available to speak to by calling 0300 323 0085 or visiting lancashirevictimservices.org.