Solace Women’s Aid has today formally responded to the Metropolitan Police Service’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan, published in November 2021.
In its response, Solace made several recommendations to address women’s decline in trust in the police, improve the experience of victims and increase prosecution rates of perpetrators. Recommendations included:
- Work with VAWG sector organisations to develop and implement these commitments.
- Conduct equality impact assessments on new and existing initiatives to understand the potential disproportionality their implementation could have on different minority communities.
- Commission a specialist VAWG organisation to run an independent advisory service in the Met Police to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence by former and serving police officers to help navigate the complaints process and work to rebuild trust.
Rebecca Goshawk, Head of Public Affairs and Partnerships at Solace Women’s Aid, says:
“We welcome the opportunity to feedback to the Metropolitan Police Service on their action plan and hope they take seriously our recommendations to strengthen it. There are many initiatives that are tried and tested and already working well in some areas, and we encourage the Met Police to learn from what works and make it more consistent across London. In particular, we would welcome stronger commitments to ensure frontline officers and staff are given specialist training in domestic abuse and sexual violence, and in cultural competency to support all victims of violence.
“The Metropolitan Police must ensure that any new initiatives and the implementation of existing initiatives do not disproportionately impact minoritised groups, particularly Black and ethnic minority communities, LGBT+ groups and those with insecure immigration status. It is imperative the Met Police works diligently to rebuild trust in these communities for survivors to come forward and get the protection and help they need.”