Violence against women and girls

Devon and Cornwall Police is supporting White Ribbon Day 2021.

White Ribbon UK is a charity that seeks an end to male violence towards women. The charity has representation around the world, and asks everyone to make this pledge:

“I promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”

Find out more about White Ribbon UK by visiting there website:

White Ribbon Day comes at the start of 16 Days of action, an initiative which has been taking place over a number of years with various themes and one key aim; to take action against violence towards women in all its forms including domestic abuse, rape, stalking, spiking or honour based abuse.
Violence can and does take many forms all of which are completely unacceptable.

Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding said: “We understand that the shocking murder of Sarah Everard, at the hands of a police officer, has shaken trust in policing, and that the misogynistic attitudes and behaviours that exist in society exist in policing too. We are determined to tackle these issues in Devon & Cornwall Police and to talk openly about them.

“We understand the damage done by one police officer in a police force far away and the fact that this will have changed trust and confidence in policing. We have more to do in rebuilding trust and confidence and you have our commitment that we will do this.

“We encourage everyone to report crimes and incidents to the police and there are a number of support organisations which provide an additional way in which to report. Whenever and however  you choose to report, you will be believed and supported.

“We have increased the focus on the evening and night time economy, working with businesses and partners to identify and remedy those places where women and girls feel unsafe.”

Over the next 16 Days and throughout December we will focus on awareness raising on a range of topics and provide information about appropriate advice and support. We will be publishing internal messages to ensure we maintain and improve our focus on key issues such as domestic abuse, stalking, rape and serious sexual offences.

ACC Fielding concluded: “We will continue to work in partnership, tirelessly, to prevent violent crime, to improve the outcomes for victims of violence and increase the numbers of perpetrators brought to justice.

“Our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones to violence.

“Our shared commitment is to end violence.”

#WhiteRibbon #AllMenCan #MakeThePromise
For advice, help and support please visit our Threat assault abuse section


Senior officers and staff

Pictured wearing their white ribbons are: (L to R): Deputy Chief Constable Jim Colwell, Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding, Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Leaper, Assistant Chief Officer People Alexis Poole, Director of Finanace & Resources Sandra Goscomb.

Staff and the Chief

Pictured wearing their white ribbons are: Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer with the Executive Assistants to the Chief Officer Group

ACC Julie FieldingACC Julie Fielding's Blog: - 13 October 2021

The thoughts of all of our officers and staff are with the family and loved ones of Sarah Everard. We understand the depth of feeling and concern following the tragic murder of Sarah and the details that emerged of the actions of the offender, a police officer, have saddened and sickened us all.

We recognise that alongside immediate actions for improvement, long term, sustainable change is needed; we are working on this and will be sharing our plans more widely in the coming weeks. We will build on our work with partners, communities, groups and independent advisors, ensuring that we hear and act upon the views and concerns of victims of crime. We will widen this conversation as everyone has a role to play.

The national plan to tackle violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls will be published shortly by the National Police Chief’s Council, led by Deputy Chief Constable Maggie Blyth. I will be leading on the response of Devon & Cornwall Police.

We are already reviewing the quality of our investigations, increasing the ways in which we tackle perpetrators’ behaviours directly and ensuring that all of our staff recognise and respond to domestic abuse, sexual offences and crimes such as coercive control, with a focus on the victim and tackling perpetrator behaviour. We will build on our work with key partners across the criminal justice, community safety and specialist support services for improvement.

There will be a number of national enquiries and reviews upon the issues raised by the conviction of Couzens including inspections of vetting and counter-corruption procedures in policing across England and Wales. This will include the ability of all forces to detect and deal with predatory and misogynistic behaviour. Our work to learn from this tragic case has already started.  

Whilst the majority of our officers and staff come to work every day to help and support victims and bring perpetrators to justice, this case has shone a light on the issue of those who target women and girls. We actively challenge inappropriate and concerning behaviour but there is more to do.

Here and now, our officers will proactively offer to carry out a verification check for anyone who feels concerned for their safety during an interaction with police. Any member of the public can also request that a verification check be carried out and we will respond immediately.

Having a positive relationship with our communities is at the heart of our policing approach in Devon and Cornwall; we will continue to do our job to the best of our ability, whilst working openly through the issues that this case has raised. We will continue to make improvements. It is my commitment that we will be sensitive and understanding to how recent events have impacted on all those that we serve and particularly women and girls.

Devon & Cornwall Police work closely with the Office and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall to ensure that services to victims are professional and accessible. We will be using feedback from victims and service providers to improve our services.

Together we can make the difference.

Launch of StreetSafe tool

Devon and & Cornwall Police is encouraging residents to use the new StreetSafe online reporting tool. The tool enables anyone to mark public places on a map where they feel unsafe for any reason such as anti-social behaviour or environmental issues (e.g. lighting).

Reporting is anonymous, and while anyone can use it, women and girls are particularly being encouraged to use the online platform. The online tool was launched by the Home Office and Police Digital Service and is being piloted across England and Wales until the end of November. You can read more about it and access it from the link below.

StreetSafe online tool

Assistant Chief Constable Julie Fielding said: ‘The StreetSafe tool is one of a number of ways in which we can target the areas which do not feel safe. We are working with local partners to review the reports and will work together to make safer places, targeting hotspots and using practical ways to increase safety.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said:

"The tragic cases of Sarah Everard and locally Lorraine Cox have thrust the issue of safety in public spaces to the front of the national agenda. 

Everyone has the right to feel safe in public, wherever they are and whatever time of day they choose to go out. Sadly too many people, both men and women, still feel unsafe and threatened.

Information gathered through initiatives like the StreetSafe tool really us make informed decisions to improve our public spaces and deliver better services."

Julie Fielding
Assistant Chief Constable

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