To receive a presentation on Cheshire East’s response to violence and intimidation against Women and Girls.
Richard Christopherson, Locality Manager (Community Safety) and Claire Jesson, Local Police Unit Commander attended the Committee meeting and provided a presentation on the initiatives being rolled out across Cheshire as part of the ongoing commitment to tackling violence and intimidation against women and girls.
It was reported that this area of work was initially developed following the tragic death of Sarah Everard in 2021. A survey was undertaken across the borough which received over 500 responses. The majority of responses were received from women and girls which highlighted that this cohort of individuals did not feel safe. A multi-agency sub-group, Violence and Intimidation against Women and Girls, was later formed.
The Committee noted that £1.5m funding had been secured from the Home Office for a number of innovative projects that would be rolled out across Cheshire by September 2023. The project consisted of various elements including training in the education sector and wider community, promotion of safety apps, extension of the use of GoodSAM, mandatory safeguarding training for taxi drivers and deployment of safety vehicles in the night-time economy (one bus solely for Cheshire East located predominately in Crewe and Macclesfield).
Committee Members were encouraged to share the details of the safety app, Hollie Guard, within their local communities. It was highlighted that the Hollie Guard app provided an enhanced level of protection which included emergency notifications to chosen contacts, location tracker and the transfer of audio and video evidence taken directly from the mobile phone.
Committee Members were pleased to hear that the focus of domestic abuse was now shifting towards the perpetrator, rather than victim. Committee Members queried the uptake of safeguarding training from licence premise owners. It was confirmed that this training was not yet mandatory however there were ongoing discussions with the Licensing Team to look at making this mandatory when obtaining a licence in the future.
Superintendent Jesson committed to exploring the language used when referring to victims of domestic abuse. It had been suggested that the word ‘target’ may be more appropriate terminology.
Jill Broomhall informed Committee Members that the Knife Angel would be visiting Crewe Town Centre in May. It was highlighted that this emotive and thought-provoking monument aimed to educated and raise awareness of the increasing knife crime across Britain.
That the presentation be received and noted.