By Tatiana Zaituni –
The government will announce plans to better tackle violence and rape against women in England and Wales, following a growing safety concern.
After 33-year-old Sarah Everard was murdered in March by a police officer, a policing lead role appointment was recommended.
Ms Everard’s death sparked a public debate about women’s safety across the country.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will confirm to MPs that the government will create the new national policing to improve the response times to crimes involving violence against women and girls. Priti Patel set out to deliver “lasting change” with the new national policing lead.
It comes after the low rape conviction rates and a culture of sexual harassment in schools and higher educations.
In 2020 the CPS data showed fewer people were convicted of rape and sexual assault while violent crime icreased. It is because police referred to fewer rape cases; as a result, the Crown Prosecution Service took an even smaller number of those cases to court.
The new policing lead will commission a 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline. In addition, two “Violence Against Women and Girls Transport Champions” will be appointed, which the government says will “tackle the problems faced by female passengers on public transport”.
In addition to this, £5m of funding to tackle violence in public places at night, and online tools to help women and girls log places they have felt unsafe.
The strategy will also seek to criminalise the practice of so-called virginity testing.
Ms Patel said the new policing lead would “drive change” and “abhorrent abuse and violence” targeted at women and girls.
“Every aspect of policing and criminal justice system must have a determined approach to ending violence against women and girls,” she added.
The policing role will “bring together the incredible work of police officers around the country and create a consistent response to ending these appalling crimes”.
The government will publish its complete plans to tackle violence against women and girls later today.