PCC asks underrepresented groups to speak up about their experience of reporting violence against women and girls
Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson is urging women and girls to share their experiences of reporting violent crimes to Wiltshire Police.
A series of Listening Circles have been set up by the Force – in particular to seek the views, feedback and suggestions from under-represented victims - in a bid to help shape the service provided by the force and his office’s commissioned victim support services.
The Listening Circles, set up in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) are one strand of Wiltshire Police’s ongoing work to improve the way they respond to Violence Against Women and Girls.
Mr Wilkinson said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a key priority identified within my police and crime plan and both the Chief Constable and I are determined to improve the service received by Wiltshire’s victims.
“Restoring the trust and confidence victims should have within policing will take time and I recognise the good progress made by Force in the past year with improving victim care and increasing investigative outcomes for rape and serious sexual assault.
“We will not be complacent and think we are doing enough. I would urge people to have their voice heard by signing up to a Listening Circle and, in turn, help Wiltshire Police and the support services my office commissions to respond more effectively to those crimes.
“Both the Chief Constable and I want women and girls to have renewed confidence in the police and criminal justice system that is there to protect them – and you can help them do that.”
Wiltshire Police received feedback from a survey of almost 1,200 people last year, the under- represented groups were identified as:
Younger women and girls aged between 18 – 24
Older women aged 65 and over
Women and girls of ethnic minority groups
VAWG lead for Wiltshire Police, Detective Superintendent Sarah Robbins, said: “The Listening Circles will give people an opportunity to speak out about violence against women and girls as well as encouraging feedback and recommendations to us so we can get better at responding to these crimes.
“It’s important we hear from all in our communities, especially those in the underrepresented groups we have identified. For whatever reason, those we seldom hear from.
“To get a full picture of our county we need to hear from all – listen to all. It’s the only way we can shape our service to best serve you.
“Your voice is vital so we can work together to tackle violence against women and girls.”
Following on from the feedback received last year, several significant improvements have already been made, including training for officers and staff to help them spot the signs of domestic abuse, the increased use of Body Worn Cameras to ensure all evidence is captured at domestic abuse incidents to support future prosecutions and increasing the number of officers and staff dedicated to investigations.
For more information, please visit wearelistening.uk where people can find the link to register for the Listening Circles.
We understand that not everyone is ready or able to report to the police. There are many organisations and charities ready to support you. Information about support is also available on the OPCC and Wiltshire Police websites.