Gwent Police judged regional winners in first recognition event for police officers, staff and volunteers working to tackle violence against women and girls
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The introduction of a specialist Survivor Engagement Co-ordinator in Gwent has been judged the winning regional entry in the first National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing’s recognition event
The introduction a specialist Survivor Engagement Co-ordinator in Gwent has been judged the winning regional entry in the first National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing’s recognition event for police officers, staff and volunteers who are working to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG). Gwent Police’s Survivor Engagement role won “We have heard and we have changed” category.
The recognition event was developed and judged jointly by police forces and representatives from charities including SafeLives, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Karma Nirvana, alongside the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, and police staff associations. Over 140 entries were received which were initially judged regionally by police and third sector panels, before being put in front of a national panel who decided the 13 overall winners.
All winning entries had to demonstrate how they built trust and confidence, that their approach was victim-centred, and they had to show impact, including how they were pursuing perpetrators. Judges were impressed with the effectiveness of many of the entries, giving particular praise to those officers, staff and volunteers who listened to victims and survivors, and then shaped their activity accordingly.
In Gwent, the Survivor Engagement Co-ordinator role was established in 2019 and engages with survivors of sexual and domestic abuse.
Through the Survivor Engagement Co-ordinator, victims can share their lived experience and feedback to guide changes and improvements in victim care across the service and our partner agencies.
Other winners include a campaign to tackle misogynistic and sexist behaviour internally (Avon and Somerset Police), reducing violent crime committed against sex workers (Cleveland Police), educational sessions for schools (West Midlands Police) and a survivor of rape who has helped Lincolnshire Police by telling her story of the criminal justice system in order to support other victims.
DCC Maggie Blyth, National Police Chiefs’ Council violence against women and girls’ coordinator, said:
“Thank you to everyone who works in policing and whose focus is on making society safer for women and girls.
“Having regional and national judging panels made up of experts from inside and outside policing have really helped us to focus on winners who have demonstrated both an understanding of what victims want and expect, but also on activity that is sustainable. It’s only by modelling this excellent work that we can hope to achieve consistency for women and girls across our police forces. Entries also showed how we are pursuing perpetrators and showing them that there is nowhere to hide. We all want policing to achieve more and although we still have much to do, I am heartened by the quality of work that is underway.”
Chief Superintendent Ian Roberts said: “It was fantastic to see Gwent Police recognised at the NPCC’s Policing Violence Against Women and Girls national recognition event.
“Crime can have a devastating impact and ensuring that victims receive the information and support they need to help cope and recover, as well as bringing those responsible for those offences before the courts, is our top priority.
“We’re proud of the steps we’ve taken as a service to tackle VAWG and of the hard work and dedication of our Survivor Engagement co-ordinators, past and present, to foster and develop an environment where victims have the confidence come forward.
“I’d also like to thank the victims - who not only came forward to report their experience - but also used their experience to help us develop and improve our service. Their input has helped us make meaningful changes and this recognition is dedicated to them.”
The event has been kindly sponsored by Salesforce and Kulpa who have provided the venue free of charge, event support and a contribution towards the printed materials.