Community Crime Commission meeting - Women's Safety
Community Crime Commission meeting of 16th August 2021 – Women’s Safety
Commissioners discussed their preliminary recommendations following on from the previous meeting on ‘drugs & street violence’. Commissioners agreed that case studies will be good to have as part of their finalised recommendations and there was discussion around the level of language to use in the final report.
As part of a discussion around funding, a senior police officer spoke about how the police allocate resources and gave a detailed presentation on the cost of police operations. There was also a discussion on how the council and police have joint funded operations.
The commissioners were then shown two videos; the first was a video from the UN where women explained what they would do without fear of harassment or assault, which showed how harassment impacts the day to day activities of women. The second video was from the Redbridge Women’s Champion, Cllr Saima Ahmed, who spoke about the need for action on women’s safety following several prolific cases including that of Sarah Everard and Maria Rawlings. Cllr Ahmed noted that the council is undertaking a large scale listening exercise, hearing about the experiences of women in the borough. This information will support future policy decisions.
Commissioner Amy Tully reported to the commission on the results of her extensive online survey, which captured feedback from female residents in the borough. Amy showed all of the questions asked of the residents and a detailed infographic showing the results – with the majority of women who answered having experienced harassment on the street.
Council officers then reported back on the findings of Redbridge Council’s listening exercises, where residents were consulted over 11 listening sessions to build a detailed picture of the situation in the borough. The results were shared with commissioners and a comparison was drawn of how safe women felt in Redbridge compared to other parts of London. Feedback on the women’s safety audit walk was provided, where residents identified common themes and suggested actions to make them feel safer. The officers explained that a multi-agency steering group has been formed within the council which will review the situation and channel resources to best effect real change.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police gave a presentation on crime stats related to violence against women, including harassment and sexual offences, with comparisons of the data on previous years. The officers explained what initiatives and operations were planned to tackle this issue, including the establishment of dedicated units. The police gave their opinion on what type of operations work well to reduce the issue in the long term, including the multi-agency approach.
Commissioners were then given a presentation on the current London-wide enforcement approach, outlining the strategy adopted by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, which have identified women are more likely to be victims of violence and assault. The Night Safety Charter was explained, which Redbridge Council signed up to and requires us to meet seven commitments – including the appointment of a women’s champion and ensuring we have a good method for staff and residents to report inappropriate conduct or harassment.
Lastly, the commissioners watched a presentation by Social Engine, on their work using behavioural change science to help counter prostitution and permanently reduce incidents in the area. The results of their scientific study are currently being adapted to be implemented in Redbridge. The commission then discussed ideas for recommendations on the topic of women’s safety.