Police step up efforts to tackle perpetrators of male violence against women and girls
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Police have pledged to continue targeting perpetrators of male violence against women and girls after major increases in enforcement action to tackle domestic abuse and stalking.
We more than doubled the number of successful stalking prosecutions this year compared to the same time last year.
The force has also massively increased its use of domestic violence protection notices (DVPNs), which are issued to perpetrators following incidents of domestic violence to help victims get the support they need.
Tackling these crime types are just two strands of work under a recently launched police strategy to keep women in Bedfordshire safe.
We have chosen to focus our strategy specifically on tackling male violence against women and girls (MVAWG).
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Laws, from our public protection unit, said: “We have a clear focus in policing to pursue offenders and perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“These figures are welcome steps in the right direction and hopefully go some way to reassuring our communities that we are treating the issue of male violence against women and girls with the utmost seriousness.
“But there is still a huge amount of work to do to ensure we provide a first class service to every victim of these crimes in Bedfordshire, as well as bringing perpetrators to justice.”
Since March we have secured 170 DVPNs, a ten-fold increase on last year which puts Bedfordshire among the highest performing police forces in the country in terms of using the orders.
A DVPN is an emergency non-molestation and eviction notice which can be issued by the police, when attending a domestic abuse incident, to a perpetrator.
Because the DVPN is a police-issued notice, it is effective from the time of issue, thereby giving the victim the immediate support they require in such a situation.
From April to December we prosecuted 69 stalking cases, up from 34 for the same period in 2020.
Crimes and behaviour covered by the ‘MVAWG’ 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 MVAWG agenda also seeks to tackle harassment, misogyny and sexual misconduct.
Our strategy is running alongside a Crimestoppers campaign to raise awareness about the various forms of unwanted sexual behaviour which can violate a victim’s dignity, and make them feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated.
The force is supporting the Crimestoppers platform to help encourage people to call out and report behaviour they see which makes them uncomfortable or creates a hostile environment, and ensuring reporting mechanisms through force are also being promoted to the public.
Anyone wishing to report any instance of male violence against women and girls can get in touch with the police on 101 or via our online reporting tool.
Always call 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.