Northern Ireland Police Launch An Action Plan To Combat Violence Against Women
The Northern Ireland Police Service (PSNI) has released its first ever action plan aimed at reducing violence against women and girls. It pledges that the police will “relentlessly pursue perpetrators” and root out improper conduct among their ranks.
According to the PSNI, 78% of all victims of sexual crimes and 68% of victims of domestic abuse are women and girls, who are also “disproportionately affected” by violence, abuse, and intimidation.
The release of the plan was “a watershed moment,” according to Chief Constable Simon Byrne. He stated that the issue is a “high priority” in the 40-page plan.
The issue of rising crime against women gained attention in the UK last year after Sarah Everard was killed in London by a Metropolitan Police officer. Additionally, it reduced women’s and girls’ confidence and faith in the police.
Recognizing that officer behaviour has “at times fallen short of public expectation,” Mr. Byrne stated that improving our own culture was a part of the plan.
So far, the PSNI has suspended 26 officers following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The new plan aim to impart specialised training to all the frontline officers in dealing with domestic abuse incidents, which occur at a rate of one every 16 minutes in Northern Ireland.
Other actions include improving the quality of prosecutors’ investigation files and prioritising the arrest of people wanted for crimes involving violence against women and girls.
A new media campaign will also be launched to raise awareness of drink spiking.
Mr. Byrne stated: “To effectively address complex societal issues like this, everyone must actively champion the necessary change.
“Policing alone will not end violence against women and girls.
“We need to work in partnership with all parts of society for this to really work, to really make a difference for all women and girls,” he added.