The Mayor of London has invited feedback on his draft Police and Crime Plan 2021-25, which sets out his policing priorities. We submitted a response following a consultation with frontline staff and based on our work supporting over 27,000 women and children a year, and made the following key recommendations:
- In this draft plan, the Mayor of London makes a number of commitments to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG), which we welcome. The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) must assess the impact of each commitment on minoritised groups, particularly Black and ethnic minority communities, LGBT+ groups and those with insecure immigration status to ensure that they will benefit from these initiatives and not be disproportionately disadvantaged, for example through over policing.
- The Mayor of London should consult and work with specialists and those ‘led by and for’ VAWG organisations on the development and implementation of initiatives for victims, including the Victim Care Hub.
- To begin to rebuild trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service, the Mayor of London should work with the force to ensure it takes accountability for the culture within the force which has led to a number of officers abusing their position to perpetrate violence against women. He should also work closely with the force to make significant changes which are needed to better protect women and girls, like commissioning an independent advisory service by a specialist VAWG organisation within the force to provide advice and support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence by former or serving officers.
- Increase funding for community-based services including advocacy services, advice lines, helplines and counselling and therapeutic services, which are all seeing a surge in demand as a result of the pandemic.
- Community-based services should be commissioned from specialists and ‘led by and for’ VAWG organisations for longer than 12 weeks to provide sufficient victim support and reduce repeat referrals.