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White Ribbon Day

Dorset Police support White Ribbon Day 2021

Dorset Police is proud to support White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon UK is a charity that seeks an end to male violence towards women. The charity has representation around the world, and asks everyone to make this pledge:

“I promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”

Find out more about White Ribbon UK here: www.whiteribbon.org.uk

White Ribbon Day comes at the start of the 16 Days of Action, which has been going now for some thirty years. The overarching theme is to take action against violence to women in all its forms be that domestic abuse, rape, stalking, spiking or honour based abuse.

These crimes do not only affect women and girls, anyone affected by these behaviours and criminal offences is encouraged to report to the police, or seek help from one of the many support organisations we work in partnership with. You’ll find sources of advice and support on our website within this section.

Help is out there for you if you need it, and you will be believed and supported.

Unfortunately, the greatest majority of such violence is perpetrated by men against women and girls. This includes verbal and physical harassment which is unacceptable. It’s not just banter, its unwanted attention and it frightens people.

Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “I am proud to join with colleagues within Dorset Police and with Chief Constables, senior officers and policing colleagues from across the country to mark White Ribbon Day. 

“The day marks the start of the 16 Days of action campaign to highlight and tackle violence against women and girls, and gender-based violence in all its forms. These issues quite rightly remain in the public eye we will do all we can to tackle these abhorrent crimes.

“We also understand that although women are in the majority who are affected by these crimes, they are not the only ones, so nobody should hesitate in seeking the help of the police or support agencies if they are affected.

“Wearing the white ribbon marks the commitment of myself and Dorset Police to both improve outcomes for victims and reduce the number of victims. Policing does not stop after White Ribbon Day and 16 days of Action, and Dorset Police will continue its work to tackle the perpetrators of violence towards women.”

Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya said: “Dorset Police remains committed to tackling violence against women and girls. The force has worked hard to improve its response to sexual offending and harassment. Additional training has been provided to staff and officers in recognising and treating victims with greater care and respect and improving investigation standards and techniques. We have worked with our partners across the criminal justice system to speed up the criminal justice process so that charging decisions are reached more quickly. This has increased the number of perpetrators receiving a criminal justice outcome for offending and in some cases diverted offenders to programmes which work to change their behaviour.

“People need to feel safe on the streets of Dorset, so we have taken additional measures to provide proactive police patrols in hotspot areas. Working with licenced premises and local authorities we have developed initiatives in partnership to ensure establishments and public areas in the evening and night time economy are safe for women, such as Operation Vigilant, the Spike Aware programme, Safe Space and Safe Bus. We will give more details about these initiatives in the coming days.”

Operation Vigilant involves the use of both plain-clothed and uniformed officers. If concerning behaviour is identified by perpetrators or they spot someone who may be vulnerable, they will intervene or provide assistance. Officers then work together with venue staff, councils and other emergency services to ensure that individuals are safeguarded. Officers can also use powers available to them, such as dispersal notices for behaviours such as approaching vulnerable women and girls and unprovoked aggressive behaviour.

Over the next 16 Days Dorset Police will publish a topic each day that will raise awareness of an issue and signpost you to appropriate advice and support. At the same time, the Force will also publish internal reminders and best practice to help our officers and staff to tackle domestic abuse, stalking, rape and serious sexual offences.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “Since being elected in May, I have been working on implementing my police and crime plan, which has at its heart priorities on tackling violence, domestic abuse, stalking and other high harm areas such as violence against women and girls.

“In the last six months I have met with Women’s Aid, You First, STARS, the Water Lilly Project, and the Chair of the Dorset Domestic Abuse Forum. At such meetings, I have been able to hear first-hand from victims about their experience, as well as draw upon the considerable experience and insight that these organisations have offered on behalf of the victims and communities they represent.”

“Those meetings have helped develop how I intend to bring the priorities in my police and crime plan to life – put simply, we need get the strategy right, take decisive and practical action when needed and then to work on what I have termed as ‘fixing the future’ and that is where we will start talking to our young people about respect for themselves and respect for each other as well as addressing more deep-rooted issues such as misogyny.

“They say that action speaks louder than words, so I am pleased to see that my request of the Force to implement Op Vigilant came into fruition over the summer and I am also pleased to say that my office has played an instrumental part taking practical action with the funding of over 1000 drink spiking testing kits as well as almost 14,000 spiking prevention bottle tops.

“I have pledged to do all that I can, as Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, to ensure that this county is the safest in England and Wales – there is no doubt that this means that women of any age must be safe, and feel safe, whether on a night out, walking home or in their own homes.”

Chief Constable Chilton added: “We understand that Sarah Everard’s murder, at the hands of a police officer, has shaken trust in policing, and we understand that the misogynistic attitudes and behaviours that exist in society, exist in policing too. Dorset Police expects the highest possible standards from its officers and staff which is reinforced through daily leadership and development. We are also encouraging and enabling our staff to call out such behaviours should they occur through reporting mechanisms and organisational support. We will deal decisively with information and allegations received against any member of staff or officers.

Deputy Chief Constable de Reya concluded: “Please know that if you come to us in trust and confidence that you will be supported and we will do our best for you. We are committed to making long-lasting change to the daily lives of women and girls, preventing crime, supporting victims and building stronger cases to bring more offenders to justice.”

#WhiteRibbon #AllMenCan #MakeThePromise #SaferDorset

Our senior Officers, Police Staff and the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner  wearing the White Ribbon
Pictured wearing their white ribbons are Chief Constable Scott Chilton, Assistant Chief Officer Jo Mosely (top right), Assistant Chief Constable Steve Lyne and Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya, and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick.