Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner of the only police force in the country to categorise misogyny as a form of hate crime, is joining up with other major organisations to build on Nottinghamshire’s pioneering stance. The aim is to make everywhere – locally and nationally – safer for women.
The former MP will, together with Nottingham Women’s Centre and Nottingham Trent University, hold a high-powered conference next month (September). Safer for Women aims to tackle misogyny and sexual harassment, and make all public spaces safer for women.
“Nottinghamshire is already leading the field in listing hate directed towards women as a specific offence,” Mr Tipping said today. “The county is also unique in its current multi-agency response to this issue. But we now need to expand our work – and seek a wider, national response – by making best use of the wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists in the public, private and voluntary sectors.”
Nottinghamshire Police’s decision to specifically categorise misogyny has captured both national and international interest. “We have lit the beacon,” said Commissioner Tipping. “Now we need to keep it burning to encourage more forces to follow suit.”
He went on: “Bringing many different agencies under one roof for this conference will provide a great opportunity to learn from each other about what works in protection, prevention and public awareness so that fewer women fall victim to these horrible crimes.”
A YouGov survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) earlier this year found that the vast majority of women under 25, and two thirds of all women in Britain, had experienced this kind of abuse. Mr Tipping commented: “I was shocked by these figures, which clearly demonstrate the need for more action. I want to be able to hold up my hand and say that we are doing everything possible to make women safer.”
The conference on Wednesday 21 September (10am-2.45pm) at Nottingham Trent University will draw representatives from the police, universities, political parties, councils, businesses and the public and voluntary sectors. It will also launch the new public awareness campaign to tackle misogyny hate crime which has been developed in partnership by Nottingham Women’s Centre and Nottinghamshire Police.
Speakers at the event will include Sue Fish, the force’s Temporary Chief Constable; Laura Bates who founded The Everyday Sexism Project; and Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of The Fawcett Society.
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Posted on Wednesday 31st August 2016