One of my key roles as Police and Crime Commissioner is to hold the Chief Constable to account on behalf of the public, and make sure that Derbyshire Constabulary deliver on the key strategic priorities included in my Police and Crime Plan 2021/2025.
The Performance Scrutiny Meetings are just one of the ways that I hold the Chief Constable to account. It is an opportunity for the force to provide extensive evidence on their performance and plans for improvements where necessary on the key priorities. It is also an opportunity for the public to send in specific additional questions.
Violence Against Women and Girls is a key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan and I am committed to working with the Constabulary and other partners.
I would like to thank everyone who has taken he time to submit a question. My office received 32 questions in total, which were addressed during the meeting.
Below are the questions that were submitted to me, alongside the response to those questions from the Chief Constable.
Please be advised that the next PSM meeting is on Tuesday 28 November and the topic is Strong Local Policing. Please see the website for more details on upcoming PSM’s for the rest of the year.
Thank you once again for taking the time to submit a question.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire
Public Questions raised at the meeting.
Performance Scrutiny Meeting recording focusing on the key priority.
Public Questions Submitted
Q1) How does the police deal with violence within a household where family members do not want to put their perpetrator/abuser in prison. Maybe culture/religious values becomes a barrier in such circumstances for the victim but the bully has no regards for such values and is a narcissist. Would like police and mosques to work together to tack violence at home. Religious beliefs are against such violence act but people do not know what support or action they can take to help themselves in such situations. I think i speak on behalf on majority women in Pakistani community who fear divorce but need that support. Would love for police to work with other providers to raise awareness on rights. Resident of Derby.
Derbyshire Police recognise there are many factors, including religious and cultural, that may impact on a victim’s willingness to report domestic abuse to police and/or support a prosecution. In cases where victims feel unable to support a prosecution, there are occasions where due to the potential of ongoing harm the police can seek an evidence led prosecution, negating the need for the victims support at court. The victims in these cases are still offered support by all of the victim support services.
There are numerous services available – across the City and County – that seek to support victims of domestic abuse, including the Derby Woman’s Centre in Derby.
In addition to a number of services commissioned by the police and crime commissioner the Force and the VAWG partnership seek out opportunities to engage with individuals and groups representing different cultural and religious backgrounds.
A New VAWG community group has been established in Derby which has a specific focus on engagement with B.A.M.E communities. Additionally, the force are recruiting volunteers to join the Women’s Voices Advisory Group, with the aim of having a diverse group of women, representative of the communities within Derbyshire to provide scrutiny on police cases, policies and procedures. Several women have been recruited so far and the first meeting is scheduled 22nd Nov 2023.
The Force have recently been invited to deliver inputs at a number of women’s groups in Derby, this includes women within the Pakistani community. The inputs will be focused on domestic abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour, honour-based abuse and forced marriage, with advice on how to report and what support services are available.
Q2) I’m interested in rural transport and the personal safety of women and girls and of course other genders. Does the police work with rail and bus companies to ensure personal safety on buses and trains so there is a joined up strategy to protect us. Resident of Castleton.
British Transport Police (BTP) are responsible for the policing of our rail network. They have a range of measures, including the ‘Railway Guarding App’ – an all-in-one safety app, which users can download and use to report crimes and concerns on the rail network, share journey with contacts and get access to news, guides, and support.
Derbyshire Police work with, and will continue to work with, BTP and other companies, as may be required, in order to keep our communities safe.
The majority of work that has been undertaken by the force and VAWG partnership has focused on the night time economy and ensuring women and girls get home safely. Safeguarding hubs, staffed with police, local authority, street pastors and St Johns ambulance are deployed into areas of concern, identified through crime analysis. The hub provide support to member of the public in getting home safely, be that by public transport or other means.
Work is also undertaken with all taxi companies who operate in Derbyshire in terms of training and reviewing on going licence arrangements. All taxi companies must undergo safeguarding training as part of their licensing conditions.
The force also promotes the use of the Holly Guard app. This app allows users to alert specified people within their contacts if they feel unsafe. The app automatically sends details of their location.
Bus services have not been identified as a public safety concern, but in terms of working with them in the future this is something that the VAWG partnership can take away to look at opportunities going forward.
Q3) Our question is: Our daughters abuse and injuries /violence took place some years ago. What is the recognised procedure for recording events by the Senior Police Officer in charge of a severe domestic violence incident/s? Resident of Belper
Material generated during a criminal investigation is subject to the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, which sets the standards and procedures for investigators that regulate the investigation process, and the recording and retention of material that is found or generated in the course of an investigation. For further information see the UK Gov website on Criminal procedure and Investigations Act Code of practice Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act Code of Practice – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Q4) I consider coercive control to women by groups and organisations, to be as criminal as coercive control by a partner. Why is no one doing anything about this? Many groups coerce women and get away with it as it is not considered criminal in England but it is in Scotland. Resident of Whaley Bridge.
The Childrens (Scotland) Act 1995 ensures that children and young people are protected from abuse. This includes abuse from violence, harassment, threatening conduct and any other conduct giving rise, or likely to give rise, to physical or mental injury, fear, alarm, or distress. It also means that children and young people have to be protected from abuse from their parent. In 2018 there was a new Domestic Abuse Law in Scotland. This made coercive control illegal. If a person has behaved in a way that is likely to cause their partner or ex-partner to suffer physical or psychological harm then they can be charged with a crime. The 2018 legislation covers anyone under 18 experiencing domestic abuse in their own relationships.
In England, Section 76 Serious Crime Act 2015 (SCA 2015) created the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship (CCB). It can be tried summarily or on indictment and has a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
There is a lot of work ongoing in force around controlling and coercive behaviour, all the force has received further training around Domestic Abuse as part of the vulnerability training roll out, which included controlling and coercive behaviour.
In relation to group-based offending the force is committed to working in partnership to tackle the exploitation of women and girls by organised crime networks.
The force has two specialist investigation teams; Child Exploitation Investigation Team and Adult Exploitation Investigation who work to ensure that we maximise all opportunities to identify criminal exploitation of vulnerable people, and take all opportunities to disrupt this criminality with a focus on bringing offenders to justice.
The force have established information and intelligence sharing processes to ensure that we can effectively identify exploitation crime. One of these methods is Operation Liberty which is our partnership intelligence pathway where the force gathers information and intelligence from all partners to ensure we are able to identify patterns of offending at an early stage.
The force works with the Derby and Derbyshire Child Safeguarding partnership, Catch 22 and Safe and Sound to engaged with children and young people and ensure we have clear processes to protect those who are at risk of exploitation and prevent further offending taking place.
The force also works closely with the Derby and Derbyshire Adult Safeguarding partnership, to identify and protect vulnerable adults who may be at risk of exploitation.
Q5) Would be best if a woman police officer be present of domestic violence incident reported all times and urgent protection and safety on stalking or harassment. Resident of Buxton.
Anyone contacting us can request that they speak to a male/female officer, and we will accommodate these requests wherever possible. Depending on the nature, and information received, we have specialist officers that respond to certain circumstances. However, to offer reassurance, all our officers receive training in relation to the initial response and therefore would be able to support, guide and safeguard women in these circumstances.
Q6) Why are there no police officers permanently stationed at Heanor police hub, to make a visible presence to assure all members of the public, especially women and children that that officers are. on hand to deal with problems immediately rather wait for an officer to be dispatched from Ripley. Resident of Heanor.
The Heanor Police hub, of Heanor Community Police Station, is the permanent base for the Heanor Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Youth Engagement Team. It is the base for 4 police officers, 6 PSCOs and the team Neighbourhood Investigations Officer. Whilst the team has not recently increased in size in terms of its established posts, the uplift recruitment process for police offices, and the recent recruitment of PCSOs into the force means that the team is now at full operating strength. The station is occupied by these officers when they are on duty in line with their shift pattern, albeit that does not provide 24/7 cover. However, Heanor is covered by the Local Policing Unit officers operating out of Ripley police station on a 24/7 basis, and these officers also have access to and regularly use Heanor Community Police station at all times of the day. Officers from both the LPU and SNT are regularly on patrol, on foot or in vehicles, performing their duties right in the heart of the communities they police, and as such do not wait in stations for dispatch to calls for service. Policing activity is intelligence led, as well as responsive to calls for service, and will therefore be directed towards areas where they are required, and we would encourage any member of the public who is affected by crime or ASB to report that to the police so that such patrols can be correctly targeted.
Q7) My daughter was a victim of an assault she was told because she was working she would have to pay for proceedings, after much searching we found a way she would not have to use her mortgage deposit, this did not help the stress she was under why was the information for monetary assistant not made readily available and after two years of worry the lad got away with an injunction and £100 fine, why do women have to wait so long for their case to be heard, this impacted on her work life and personal life, she has recently had therapy which was done privately, things need to change to help these girls and women, my girl bravely took him to court so other women would be protected, why are you making it so hard for the victim. Resident of Glossop.
Several external factors are resulting in longer wait times for cases to be heard in the Crown Court. The courts were already experiencing a Covid backlog which was further impacted through the first half of 2023 by the Barristers strikes. Whilst these waits are not within the Police’s or Commissioner’s control, we continue to exert influence locally and nationally to improve the position. Good links are present between the Police’s witness care unit and our partners in the Crown Prosecution Service, and His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service where delays are discussed on a weekly basis with the police doing their best to have cases heard in a timely manner. We recognise the delays in cases being heard can have an adverse impact on victims. Our witness care unit will maintain contact with victims and witnesses to ensure they are up to date with the progression of their case and continue to offer a service based on the police putting the victim at the heart of our approach.
Victims of crime do not pay for criminal prosecutions. The investigating authority (usually police) is responsible for payment of costs relevant to the investigation and gathering of evidence throughout the case, while the CPS is responsible for the payment of costs relevant to the presentation of the case at court.
Victims who choose to proceed with civil action, may have to pay a fee. The fees a victim would pay depends on the victim’s claim or case and financial circumstance. See the Court and Tribunal Fees UK.Gov website for further details.
There is support available to victims of domestic violence or abuse – for example NCDV – the National Centre for Domestic Violence – who do not charge victims for help they provide. See www.ncdv.org.uk for further details.
Q8) When I reported stalking and harassment by my violent ex-husband, the local police seemed not to understand my concerns in spite of his history of abuse and prioritised his “rights” over the safety of me and my children, leaving me feeling completely vulnerable. How are you going to stop this happening in future? Resident of Buxton.
Police take all reports of stalking and harassment seriously. Derbyshire Police employ a dedicated Stalking Coordinator, who works with police and partners to ensure risk is properly assessed and mitigated, offences are investigated thoroughly, and work with the independent stalking advocates (commissioned via the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) to support victims across Derbyshire and Derby.
Derbyshire Police are represented at both the regional and national working groups of the NPCC’s Stalking and Harassment portfolio. Locally, all police officers receive bespoke vulnerability training, with a module dedicated to stalking.
Q9) We have a Police force to look after the publics safe first and foremost. Why then when a perpetrator is found guilty of a crime against the female sex do they only get sentenced to a hand smacked and NAUGHTY don’t do it again or sentenced to terms that do not fit the crime .It allows these perps to continue after release on their path of crime against women because they have not changed. The penalty does not fit the crime in a lot of cases. Resident of Linton.
The Police have responsibility for investigating offences that occur. Within that investigation they consult with the Crown Prosecution Service who if they decide to charge a suspect, take the case to court. The police do not have any influence over the length of sentences issued by the courts.
The force does everything it can to promote the ongoing safety of women and girls whether the offenders of these crimes have been sentenced or not. The force has recently implemented two new teams to the force,
- The Repeat and Serial Offenders Team. This team robustly manages individuals who have the potential to cause the most risk and harm. The team are proactive in their approach and look for all opportunities in which to disrupt the offender’s behaviour.
- The Civil Orders Team. This team looks to ensure protective orders, such as stalking protection orders, restraining orders etc are applied for in appropriate cases. These orders place restrictions and positive requirements on offenders that if breached can lead to further arrest and prosecution.
The Police and Crime Commissioner has also commissioned a service called RedSnapper. RedSnapper provides therapeutic services for those that have offended or those that display problematic behaviours and are likely to offend or reoffend. RedSnapper offer over 30 different interventions across areas such as domestic abuse, anger management and women’s programmes. The aim of the interventions is to reduce reoffending .
In addition, the force complies with the requirements of the Victims Codes of Practice (VCOP). VCOP sets out the services and standards that must be provided to victims of crime by the police and other organisations. Our Witness Care Unit ensures that victims and witnesses are signposted to Derbyshire Victims Services.
Derbyshire Victim Services are a free, confidential service who offer access to a range of help and support for people affected by crime. Specialist case workers will work with victims to help them cope and recover, offering information, practical help, and emotional support.
They provide practical and emotional help in the following ways,
- Someone to talk to and listen to the victim.
- Someone to help access a wide range of specific support agencies.
- Someone to help with Criminal Injuries compensation claims.
Q10) Whilst I have no direct relevant experience, I can only make the general observation that personal safety is enhanced by increased visibility of police. This to mind is far more important than CCTV and other security appendages. Resident of Belper.
We know that police visibility is one way of increasing the feeling of personal safety, more officers have been recruited as part of the uplift program and directed to the front line which will of course increase visibility.
We also make use of police and partnership data around the night-time economy to understand the areas of risk and threat in order to direct visibility where it will have the most impact.
We also support the use of ‘StreetSafe’ via our website. This can be used to report any areas you feel are unsafe, whether this is due to poorly lit areas, lack of CCTV, overgrown hedges etc. This data is shared monthly with local councils and other relevant agencies to work together to make the streets of Derbyshire safer.
Whilst CCTV cannot replace the visibility of officers, CCTV is crucial in terms of deterring crime and providing evidence in some cases. The provision of CCTV strengthens the roles that local councils and other partners play in respect of public safety as this is not solely an issue for the police.
Q11) Why does Derbyshire Police not utilise better the potential services and sources of information on Violence to women and girls by setting up a system utilising Councils appropriate staff who visit for example Housing and CAN rangers who liaise with tenants and females who are suffering almost at silence often afraid to speak in confidence to trained staff. The provision of a system for the sufferers has to be based on trust and assurance to confirm confidentiality and trust. Resident Bolsover.
This topic has been debated within the strategic VAWG Partnership meetings in terms of how better to engage with other services to engage and understand the issues that impact women. Engagement and consultation with a wider group of organisations / professionals that come in to contact with women is something that the partnership is looking at taking forward over the next 12 months and will be referenced within the VAWG plan.
Information sharing agreements are already in existence with councils and housing associations who regularly share information when they have identified a concern. These partners are often represented at various meetings including MARAC meetings to discuss cases of high-risk domestic abuse.
Q12) Please provide an update on the ‘Police Integrity Line’ that was set up as a response to the national report on Police Violence Against Women and Girls (NPCC report March 2023). Is the line being used? Restoring trust in the police for female victims of domestic abuse is going to take a while so it would be useful to know the line is being used and how the police are responding in general? https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/news/derbyshire/news/news/forcewide/2023/march/statement-following-first-release-of-npcc-violence-against-women-and-girls-benchmark-report/ Resident of Ilkeston.
The Integrity line is being used; 18 referrals have been generated since its launch. Work is ongoing promoting the line and its use. It is an anonymous reporting line accessible to all officers and support staff. Reports are assessed by our Professional Standards Department and (PSD) utilised to generate or assist ongoing investigations or address any cultural or harmful behaviours identified throughout the force.
Q13) This question is about prevention. Is there/could there be a prevention fund? It’s often worrying to walk about as a woman, old or young on your own. (That may be true of men too of course). Sometimes it can be small quite inexpensive things that could remedied. For instance near us the Wildlife Site is so overgrown it overspills on the narrow kerb. Not only is it dangerous for disabled, kids etc who have to step out on the road it’s a perfect place to pull someone into hidden ditches. Reported to the council but nothing has been done. Could police ask council to prioritise reports which relate to places where risk of danger/violence is high? Could such a fund make available free, reliable, safety alarms too. Could there be rangers/officers routinely patrolling the Nutbrook trail which is a big tourist attraction too but I think few would feel safe walking alone there. Resident of Ilkeston.
StreetSafe is a scheme which was launched by the Home Office as part of the Government’s strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. The service is hosted on the police websites and allows residents to pin drop on a map specific locations that have made them feel unsafe and explain the reasons why. The reporting is anonymous and includes views on both the built environment such as lack of street lighting and the behaviour of individuals or groups in the area. The data is collected to enable Police and Partners to prioritise resources and target activity. The information is shared with local police units and local authorities. The response may vary from police carrying out additional patrols and reassurance to local authorities looking at changing the physical environment or lighting in the area. (Please note street safe is not for reporting crimes or emergencies). The street safe reportsF are regularly collated with crime and incident data to inform community safety partnerships and assist with where to prioritise funding. This data can also be used for specific bids into larger national crime prevention funding streams such as ‘Safer Streets’.
Derbyshire Constabulary and the VAWG partnership are committed to making women and girls feeling safe within their communities, wherever they are. Officers from the local safer neighbourhood teams patrol areas in line with locally set priorities and crime trends. We also support the use of ‘Street Safe’ via our website. This can be used to report any areas you feel are unsafe, whether this is due to poorly lit areas, lack of CCTV, overgrown hedges etc. This data is shared monthly with local councils and other relevant agencies to work together to make the streets of Derbyshire safer. Where you have identified issues with undergrowth etc encroaching on footpaths, then that it is a matter for the local council. With regards to the funding of safety alarms, there is no dedicated funding to tackle VAWG as a standalone issue, however, local Community Safety Partnerships do have funding for crime prevention initiatives and safety products and often given these out for no cost. You can read more about their work via their facebook page.
Safer Erewash | Ilkeston | Facebook . You can also find out more by contacting your local safer neighbourhood team
Q14) How do you turn young lads opinion against influencers like Andrew Tate? Resident of Langley Mill.
The Constabulary currently work with our partners within the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Partnership (DDSCP) to focus on identifying what is influencing the behaviour of children and young people within the county.
To compliment this we utilise the inputs from Youth Engagement officers who highlight damaging behaviour and influences around the subjects of, Stalking and Harassment, Controlling and Coercive behaviour, Healthy relationship, and Consent.
We also work closely with partner agencies; Catch 22 and Safe and Sound who provide structured mentoring and guidance to children and young people.
Q15) Could the police include visits/liaisons with groups such as scouts, sports centres etc as well as schools? And include both boys and girls to create more understanding. Try to get across the need for respect. Also any assistance for anger management techniques. Resident of Matlock.
We currently offer a training provision within educational settings, but absolutely we need to start looking at opportunities to educate young people within a range of settings and this is something we want to explore within the VAWG partnership.
We have a youth engagement team assisted by local PCSOs that deliver inputs within school settings across all key stages. Inputs include topics on
- Building healthy relationships
- Stalking and Harassment
- Controlling and Coercive Behaviour.
Q16) Will you be implementing any initiatives to educate others about the violence against women and girls? It always seems to fall on women and girls to education and inform people of the violence happening to us. Resident of Ilkeston.
The VAWG partnership coordinates partnership activity in relation to VAWG. Education is a key workstream with the delivery plan. When we consult with the public, the need for education within schools is always at the top of people’s priority.
We deliver inputs to headteachers and safeguarding leads across the county on various topics, including VAWG, serious violence, county lines and drugs.
To complement this we have a Youth Engagement Officer who produces lots of educational material that is delivered across all key stages by our Youth Engagement Teams.
Material includes lessons on, Stalking and Harassment, Controlling and Coercive behaviour, Healthy relationships, Consent.
Q17) My sister was murdered by her violent husband. My question is what are you doing to educate men about handling their emotions and reminding them of the consequences when such emotions get out of hand? Resident of Chesterfield
First and foremost, condolences to you and your family.
Derbyshire Police work with other statutory and non-statutory organisations across the partnership who are focused on the management of violent offenders and reducing recidivism. Additionally, the Police and Crime Commissioner has commissioned a number of perpetrator programmes across Derbyshire; examples being Glow’s The 180 Project and RedSnapper.
- Glow 180 Project will see specialist staff work with the highest risk and highest harm perpetrators of domestic abuse. The aim of the project is to move these individuals to a place where they can begin to see the impact of their actions and start to take responsibility for their behaviour.
- RedSnapper provides therapeutic services for those that have offended or those that display problematic behaviours and are likely to offend or reoffend. RedSnapper offer over 30 different interventions across areas such as domestic abuse, anger management and women’s programmes. The aim of the interventions is to reduce reoffending.
Q18) My daughter has recently been subject to racist abuse on her school bus and at the same time had to listen to the boys threatening to rape women walking in the street. Whilst the school dealt swiftly with the racism and the bus is getting CCTV fitted to help prevent further inappropriate behaviour, I wondered how the Police were working with the schools and local youth services to engage teenage boys to understand the severity of such behaviour and consequences in the eyes of the law? I am asking this question from a personal perspective but also happen to work for the National Youth Agency and would be interested to know what work the crime commissioner is doing to help fund youth work provision in the area (Clay Cross and Holmewood)? Resident of Clay Cross.
Derbyshire Constabulary aspires to provide every victim of hate crime with the highest possible standard of service. Hate crimes can have a devastating impact on the victim, especially as the motivation for such offences can be aimed at something which is part of the victim’s core identity. Derbyshire Constabulary’s Hate Crime officer makes contact with each victim of hate crime to offer victim services as well as third party support through community advocates where appropriate. Nationally, the police service monitor five protected characteristics of hate crime; these are Disability, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation and Transgender Status. In addition to these, Derbyshire Constabulary also monitor Alternative Sub-Cultures and Gender Hate. Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Youth Engagement Officers have been trained in delivering hate crime inputs to schools as we recognise that children and young people are often the victims of hate crimes. Sadly, young people are also regularly the perpetrators of hate crimes. Our Youth Engagement Teams offer intervention workshops with young individuals who are first time perpetrators. These workshops clearly explain the devastating impact such crimes have on the victim as well as the potential consequences of continued offending.
Q19) I was looking at the age breakdown of victims of domestic abuse in Derbyshire as reported in the latest Equality information Report 2020-2021
(https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/derbyshire/about-us/equality-information-2020-2021.pdf). I was alarmed by the high number of children (15 and under) reporting domestic abuse. These are the numbers; 2019/20 747 domestic abuse crimes (7% in this age group) and 2020/21 1103 (9%). What specialist victim support do the child female victims get to ensure they do not become repeat victims as they age? As an adult I attended the Freedom Programme and this ensured I never went back to my abuser. Is this programme suitable for children or is there an alternative? As a survivor of domestic abuse I am really concerned that these girls are growing up thinking domestic abuse is normal and will add to the adult statistics. When was the last training with head teachers about domestic abuse in Derbyshire? Has there been any follow up to ensure schools have been educating children on domestic abuse? Resident of Derby
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises, on a statutory footing, children as victims of DA in their own right. Accordingly, victims are eligible for an appropriate service under the Victims Code and Derbyshire police and partners across the partnership landscape are working closely to ensure appropriate support is available.
There are several resources available to schools under the national operation, Operation Encompass. Operation Encompass is a national initiative, it is a police and education early information sharing system. It allows police to provide safeguarding information to schools in order for immediate support to be provided to those children experiencing domestic abuse. The national Operation Encompass website contains a wealth of information for schools in which to educate themselves. There is also a free advice line for schools who need help and advice on how best to support a particular child.
We also offer a training provision within educational settings. We have a Youth Engagement Team assisted by local PCSOs who deliver inputs within school settings across all key stages. Inputs include topics on
- Building healthy relationships
- Stalking and Harassment
- Controlling and Coercive Behaviour.
Q20) The Office of National Statistics for the end of March 2022 show that 20% of all crime recorded in Derbyshire is classified as Domestic Abuse (DA) this is comparable to the average for England and Wales which was 17% (Source: ONS Domestic abuse in England and Wales). Resident of Bakewell.
Rightly, Derbyshire Police recognise the significance of domestic abuse on both individuals and communities within Derbyshire, and the long-lasting impact it has on victims and those who experience it. Tackling Domestic Abuse priority of Derbyshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner; and together, with partners, we continue to work tirelessly to tackle perpetrators of domestic abuse and to keep victims safe.
Q21) As a woman who was unbelieved and in an abusive marriage I am pro women having a voice and have instilled in my boys that abuse against women is unacceptable. However I do think we also need to consider abuse against men and how some women are abusing men, but the men are not being believed due to gender and size difference. These women are having a damaging effect both on men and potentially devaluing the future of genuinely abused women being believed. Resident of Matlock.
We recognise that men are also victims of these crime types and the VAWG agenda does not seek to exclude them.
In recognition of this we are currently (via the force website) recruiting male volunteers to be part of a male voice’s advisory group. This group is being set up to give men a voice. We know that these crimes very often go under reported for reasons you have mentioned. We are seeking out men who live in Derbyshire who can assist in identify solutions to breaking down these barriers.
The group will also provide scrutiny in relation to cases where males have been the victim, this will enable the force and partners to adapt services based on feedback and recommendations.
Q22) Why just violence against women, your there to protect all. Resident of Buxton.
‘Violence against women and girls’ refers to acts of violence or abuse that we know disproportionately affect women and girls. Crimes and behaviour covered by this term include rape and other sexual offences, domestic abuse, stalking, ‘honour’-based abuse (including female genital mutilation forced marriage, and ‘honour’ killings), as well as many others, including offences committed online. The violence against women and girls’ strategy does not seek to exclude male victims, who are of course affected by these crime types too. Policies in respect of these and all other crime types are not gender specific and are inclusive of all genders.
Q23) As much as I am against violence against anyone regardless of sexual orientation, my question is what is done for the women who accuse their partners of violence, rape, domestic abuse etc and it is lies, investigations are carried out, thousands of pounds wasted as well as time, stress, upset, embarrassment – should there not be a rule/law/punishment against or to prevent such activities to be carried out? Families are ripped apart, jobs lost, mental health has a huge impact and this is due to the woman not acting accordingly and grown up to end a relationship but accuses then partner of such vile abuse etc. As much as serious violence against women and children, also men are receiving horrid abuse both physically and mentally from women surely the light should be shone on me. As much as it seems to be on women and children. Resident of Bolsover.
False allegations are taken seriously, and we acknowledge the impact this can cause. There are already laws in existence in relation to providing false statements.
Men and boys are not excluded from the VAWG agenda, and we know these crime types also affect them. Support services, policies and procedures are inclusive of all and not gender specific.
Q24) Why only women and girls? Resident of Long Eaton.
‘Violence against women and girls’ refers to acts of violence or abuse that we know disproportionately affect women and girls. Crimes and behaviour covered by this term include rape and other sexual offences, domestic abuse, stalking, ‘honour’-based abuse (including female genital mutilation forced marriage, and ‘honour’ killings), as well as many others, including offences committed online. The violence against women and girls’ strategy does not seek to exclude male victims, who are of course affected by these crime types to. Policies in respect of these and all other crime types are not gender specific and are inclusive of all genders.
Q25) How is evidence gathered? From my understanding, in my town, there is no greater violence against women and girls than against boys and young men. Resident of Buxton.
Information and data regarding the prevalence of violence against women and girls is collected both locally and nationally, data shows that the crime types under the VAWG definition disproportionately effect women and girls.
Some of the crime types under the VAWG agenda are,
Rape 84.1 % of victims are women and girls
Domestic Abuse 72.7 % of victims are women and girls
Stalking and Harassment 70 % of victims are women and girls
This does not mean that this crime types do not affect men and services supplied and commissioned are inclusive of all genders.
Q26) Can it become more accessible for women who are experiencing violence, to access safe spaces without the fear of being found out if they are in danger, , where there is emotional support, where the police can be involved, police, without fear of being followed or threatened, where police can be informed, to prevent isolation and further abuse. Are there certain signs to watch out for and ex-partner is tracking you via cyber ware tracking (stalking.. software etc.) Resident of Derby.
If you, or someone you know suspect you are a victim of stalking, or cyber stalking, then you should report it to the police. Derbyshire Police has a wide range of advice and guidance available in tackling cyber stalking, including specialist officers, in order to keep you safe and tackle perpetrators. Additionally, partners, such as Safer Derbyshire have resources available – see their website for details.
Safer Derbyshire has a number of support networks and charities that offers the safe space in which to discuss concerns and assist victims reporting matters to the police.
In respect of signs to watch out for, quite simply, there is no definitive way to know that IP has had accounts or devices compromised. However, signs that a device or an online account may have been accessed, or been infected by malware/spyware include :
The device is:
• Running slowly
• Rebooting itself
• Frequently closing the programmes or apps being used, or opening ones that aren’t
• The device is presenting pop-up boxes from programmes/apps the user doesn’t recognise asking them to do unexpected things
• Someone the victim knows tells them they’ve received unexpected messages from them, which are out of character or advertising unlikely products, or perhaps asking for money
Q27) Do you think there are enough Sexual Assault and Rape Crisis centres in Derbyshire. Resident of Clay Cross.
Millfield House is the dedicated SARC for Derbyshire for Adults, this allows both self-referral and police referred cases. By having one dedicated SARC we are able to ensure we have the correct resources to handle the needs of the user they work in partnership with the ISVA services to ensure that all areas of Derbyshire have access and support they need when they are ready to come forward.
Q28) Do you have plans in place to keep women safe now so many women’s only spaces are at risk? Resident of Matlock.
Derbyshire Constabulary and the VAWG partnership are committed to making women and girls feeling safe within their communities.
There are many workstreams ongoing in relation to this, including initiatives within the night-time economy, deploying plain clothed officers to look out for potential perpetrators in conjunction with high visibility patrols to provide extra reassurance. Multi agency safeguarding hubs deployed into the night-time economy provide a place of safety and advice and guidance and mechanisms’ of getting home safely.
We also support the use of ‘Street Safe’ via our website. This can be used to report any areas you feel are unsafe, whether this is due to poorly lit areas, lack of CCTV, overgrown hedges etc. This data is shared monthly with local councils and other relevant agencies to work together to make the streets of Derbyshire safer.
Q29) What services are being advertised or offered to support women and girls who have faced violence, other than victim support. Resident of Chesterfield.
There are a range of services which offer support to victims and families who are affected by abuse or violence commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner. The services include support for general victims, young people, domestic.
All commissioned services of which there are many, can be found visiting the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website Help and Support | Office of the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner (derbyshire-pcc.gov.uk) or alternatively via the Police and Crime Commissioner’s funded dedicated website, which provides a ‘one stop shop’ of help and support for victims of crime and antisocial behaviour. Derbyshire Victim Services | Help and support for victims of crime in Derbyshire
Q30) Why has this took so long to become a priority…this has been a concern for years, mostly charity groups pick up the victims, Women’s Aid, Elm Foundation, and even statutory structures like MARAC need the support of voluntary agencies. There are not enough statutory agencies that provide support to victims. We have Offender Manager supervision but these are not monitored properly…so offenders work their way back into the victims lives…and the cycle starts all over again. Injunctions and restraining orders are mostly gained by civil law and often without a power of arrest. The powers and regulations to protect victims need to be reviewed. Resident of Bolsover.
Derbyshire have created a Civil orders team who review all incidents, prisoners and identify where we should be applying for civil orders to protect victims from crime, there is a framework in place where we can ensure those who are subject of an order are flagged and police officers on the streets will be aware when conducting their checks to ensure positive action is taken.
All front-line staff are being trained in the use and application of civil orders where a conviction or bail conditions cannot be applied to ensure we maximise the opportunities to protect our residents and communities.
Q31) How do they engage and work with faith leaders in the local community? How are they policing their own officers regarding violence against women? How are they eradicating toxic masculinity and misogyny within their force? What funding is allocated to reducing VAWG as a percentage of the overall allocated funding and do they think this is sufficient to address the issue? Resident of Derby
The safer neighbourhood teams work closely with community leaders and community groups to develop understanding and trust. This work offers opportunities to raise awareness of violence against women and girls so that together we can address concerns and make our communities safer.
Internally our Professional Standards Department have a positive relationship with groups such as the Derbyshire Police Muslim Association and the National Black Police Officer Association as well as the Derbyshire Race Equality Network. We work closely with those groups to ensure proportionality when investigating allegations and to enhance communication internally. Any allegations around VAWG and police officers are taken very seriously and each one assessed and investigated. There are numerous ways to report allegations of VAWG by police officers. Public reporting is outlined on the Derbyshire Constabulary website and internally there are numerous reporting mechanisms including an anonymous reporting line, where officers and staff can report any identified issues. We have an internal “policing we’re proud of” media campaign aimed at addressing culture and behaviours within policing.
Funding is a difficult question to answer in relation to VAWG. VAWG touches so many areas of policing from the front line all the way to dedicated teams, it crosscuts with victim’s services, improving investigations and training provisions. There is no dedicated funding to tackle VAWG as a standalone issue as it is factored into policing in general. There are extra funding opportunities via the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Home Office Safer Streets funding for example.
Q32) We have a number of women and girls approaching us about self-defence classes that we believe would be very beneficial not only because of the self-defence aspect but also confidence, and want to know if this is something you would be interested in funding please? Resident of New Mills.
The force would not be able to fund activity however SNT officers would be willing to come along to any such classes and provide general safety and security advice.