The framework, which was published today (Wednesday, 15 December) by the College Of Policing and the National Police Chief’s Council, aims to deliver a fundamental shift in priorities and give victims a consistently high standard of service, police say.
It sets out action required from every police force designed to make all women and girls safer.
Detective chief superintendent Steve Rayland, head of the force’s Public Protection Command, said, “We already have comprehensive plans in place to tackle violence against women and girls in Sussex and we enjoy really strong partnerships with local authorities, victim services, and charities, working together to seek to address the root causes of gender inequality. This work was recently recognised through our ‘White Ribbon’ accreditation.
“But it is clear that in the police service we must do more, and must consider doing some things differently.
“The national framework published today provides a further impetus and focus for our work in this vital area, and we will ensure that the action required forms an integral part of our response.”
The Sussex Police commitment to stopping violence against women and girls is already reflected in a range of initiatives some of which have been recognised as national best practice.
Sussex Police has also launched a unique online survey which runs until January 7, seeking the views of people across the county on the experience of women and girls as victims of harassment, sexual and violent crime.
In a further step, at the recently launched StreetSafe website you can tell police anonymously about locations in your neighbourhood that make you feel or have made you feel unsafe.
The force is also supporting the ‘Do The Right Thing’ initiative launched this month by police and crime commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne, which encourages men to recognise sexual harassment and misogynistic behaviour, and give them the confidence and skills to safely call it out when they witness it.
Steve Rayland said, “This fresh call to men to recognise unacceptable attitudes and behaviour in themselves and those around them is very welcome and has the potential to help keep women safer.
“The police service is committed to taking action to prevent and detect such crimes and keep everyone safe, but it is clear that violence against women and girls is a societal problem that cannot be addressed by police alone. This issue is bigger than policing. It is part of a wider debate about what we must all do to challenge sexism and misogyny that exists in society in all its forms.”
If you feel unsafe, contact Sussex Police on 999. You can also report non-emergencies online. You can find support at safespacesussex.org.uk