The Commissioner Cressida Dick joined the National Federation of Women’s Institutes annual meeting today (Tuesday, 8 June), where she outlined the work of the Met to keep women safe.
The W.I is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK, with some 200,000 members.
Speaking today, the Commissioner said: “Throughout my Commissionership, reducing violent crime has been my number one priority and that of course includes reducing violence against women.
“Events have brought into sharp focus that women and girls do not feel as safe as we want them to.
“It also brought into sharp focus our resolve, and determination to work even harder with our partners across the criminal justice system to protect women and bring offenders properly to justice.”
The Commissioner also spoke about a new scheme the Met is currently piloting in Clapham, where local women are joining police officers on patrol to share their concerns about safety.
The initiative has been developed by officers in the area and is part of a proactive response to concerns from women that have become more heightened recently.
Speaking about domestic abuse, the Commissioner, said: “Far too many women still suffer abuse, harm in the place they should feel safest – at home.
“For too many, their abuser is not just known to them. It is their partner.”
The Met receives on average about 350 calls per day relating to domestic abuse.
Most tragically, children frequently witness such violence and as well as being highly traumatic, it is likely to affect their mental and physical health and life in many ways.
The Met is making sure that those children get the support they need from agencies and as of today are sharing via @MetPoliceUK and other social media platforms a number of creative short graphics to highlight the hidden trauma experienced by children caught up in a difficult home life.
The Commissioner said: “Hopefully this will ask all of us to think, and consider if we know a child affected like this by domestic abuse, and if so what we can do about it.
“These children may be those of neighbours, family members. And, on some sad occasions, they will need a big part of the community’s voice to help them.
“We are making progress in increasing our ability to tackle this and have better tools at our disposal to help those who seek assistance, and to help people may feel trapped or those are too scared to even ask for help.
“Whether the abuse is physical, financial, emotional, controlling or coercive, our dedicated officers are there to help protect victims and to prove offences.”
The Commissioner ended her speech by thanking the members of the W.I.
The Commissioner said: “The issues I have been talking about today are societal issues. We all need to work together to create a safer and more respectful society.”
“Thank you all for your hard work and I hope that policing and the W.I can work even closer in the future.”
+ The Commissioner’s full speech is available to download at the bottom of this page.