Improving street safety for women and girls is key part of crime plan

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore urged people to be careful when leaving their veh

Tim Passmore said improving street safety is a key part of his crime plan - Credit: Archant

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner has said improving street safety - particularly for women and girls - is a crucial part of his new plan after the government announced a crackdown on sexual harassment. 

Measures in the government's new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, which was published on Wednesday, include a public campaign "focused on creating behavioural change" which it hopes will challenge misogyny in society. 

New laws over street harassment have not been ruled out and the government will also look at whether street design features could improve personal safety. 

In schools and colleges, updated guidance will help ensure staff are clear on how to deal with reports of sexual violence and harassment.

People in the crowd turn on their phone torches as they gather in Clapham Common, London, after the

A vigil for Sarah Everard - Credit: PA Wire

The strategy followed a public consultation taking in evidence from 180,000 people - the vast majority during a two-week period following the murder of Sarah Everard.

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Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said people have a "collective responsibility to call-out bad behaviour". 

“Any form of harassment or abuse is unacceptable. People should accept that inappropriate language and behaviour can be deeply upsetting and traumatic," he said. 

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“We have a collective responsibility to call out bad behaviour wherever it occurs in Suffolk and it should be condemned by us all. Adults have a crucial responsibility to set a good example.

“I don’t know whether existing legislation requires improvements but I would like to be assured that the current law is being applied appropriately.

“Improving street safety for everyone, in particular women and girls, will be a crucial part of our new Suffolk Police and Crime Plan, and it is important to have greater police visibility, which will be possible as our numbers of front line officers increases over the next two years.”

Home secretary Priti Patel. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Witham MP and home secretary Priti Patel said the safety of women and girls was "an absolute priority" - Credit: Archant

Launching the strategy, Witham MP and home secretary Priti Patel said: "The safety of women and girls across the country, wherever they are, is an absolute priority for me.

"It is unacceptable that women and girls are still subject to harassment, abuse, and violence, and I do not accept that violence against women and girls is inevitable.

"I am determined to give the police the powers they need to crack down on perpetrators and carry out their duties to protect the public whilst providing victims with the care and support they deserve.

"This strategy, shaped by the responses of those who bravely came forward and shared their stories and experiences, will deliver real and lasting change."

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