Staffordshire Police has arrested 61 people during a week-long intensification period as part of our commitment to tackle violence, abuse and intimidation of women and girls (VAIWG).
The co-ordinated activity, which took place between 18 and 24 September, resulted in 12 of those arrested being charged, with others released on conditional bail or under investigation as enquiries continue.
Over 46 victims of domestic abuse were contacted by specialist officers, who work with partner agencies, to offer advice and support in order to safeguard them and put plans in place to reduce the risk of harm.
In addition, officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) visited 23 schools, colleges and university campuses across the county to share personal and online safety advice.
They also held engagement events at a number of local supermarkets, hotels, licenced premises and entertainment venues under Operation Makesafe, which saw local officers train employees to identify any vulnerable person who may be at risk of child exploitation at their premises.
Child exploitation involves perpetrators grooming their victims in various ways, such as in person, via mobile phones and online, to gain their trust before emotionally and sexually, abusing them.
Two Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) were issued, which provide protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates’ courts to put in place protective measures in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.
Inspector Karen Cooke, who co-ordinated the activity, said:
“We are pleased to see such positive results from our intensification period, especially as it was in addition to the daily demand of incoming incidents.
“Alongside our partners in the Violence Reduction Alliance of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, we are continuing to tackle violence against women and girls by organising these local initiatives.
“We are working to make perpetrators aware that their behaviour is not acceptable and that society will condemn their actions. We hope to reach as many people as possible through partners such as the Partnerships Against Business Crime in Staffordshire (PABCIS) and the night-time economy to reach a range of different communities, especially in the run up to the festive period.
“We want to reiterate that violence, abuse, and intimidation against women and girls in any form, and anywhere, is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We will hold perpetrators of VAIWG accountable for their behaviour, as we are really striving to ensure women and girls feel safe and are confident in reporting to the police.”
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams is Chair of the Violence Reduction Alliance. He said:
“In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the Violence Reduction Alliance – involving my office, the police, health service, local councils and more – is doing everything we can to not only make places safer for women and girls, but ensure they feel safer too.
“My office has successfully secured over £3 million so far from the Safer Streets and Safety of Women at Night funds for a range of practical partnership initiatives to protect our communities from harm, including additional lighting and CCTV, educational campaigns and vulnerability training for night-time economy staff.
“Together, we’re making sure there is a robust approach to the protection of those who don’t feel safe, as well as the prevention of violence against women and girls. The message is clear: if you’re a perpetrator, Staffordshire Police will hold you to account.”