Agenda item - Violence against Women and Girls
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Violence against Women and Girls
- Meeting of Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, Thursday, 16th September, 2021 4.00pm (Item 22.)
- View the background to item 22.
Report of the Executive Director Housing Neighbourhoods & Communities (Report Attached).
RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the work being undertaken by the Council and partners to address violence against women and girls in the City.
22.1 The Chair invited the Head of Safer Communities (Jo Player) to introduce the report.
22.2 The Head of Safer Communities introduced the report starting on page 33 of the Agenda.
22.3 Councillor Simson was informed that the solved rate for sexual offences was so low because it is usually very difficult to find substantial evidence for charges, and the completed at court numbers are also low due to cases taking a while to complete, victims who withdraw their cases, or when there is insufficient evidence.
22.4 Councillor Simson raised that she was pleased to see the Ask for Angela scheme, but asked if the Council was still funding safeguarding initiatives such as the Beach Patrol and Safe Space, and if not, where the funding was coming from. The Head of Safer Communities confirmed that she would find out that information and report back to Councillor Simson.
22.5 Councillor Simson asked how the 24 hour help in the city’s car parks would work, given that there are no assistants, and also how this help would be advertised. The Head of Safer Communities confirmed she would gather this information and report back to Committee members.
22.6 Councillor Brown was informed that the survey asking women how safe they feel in the city would be started shortly, but a survey had already been carried out by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office so this information may be able to be used.
22.7 Joanna Martindale was informed that as part of the new duty placed on the local authority under the Domestic Abuse Act, the Council is required to put in place a strategy relating to people who have experienced domestic abuse, and it will come back to committee when it has been completed which should be completed by the end of October as per the statute.
22.8 Councillor Grimshaw mentioned the survey mentioned in point 3.23, and that BHCC is currently liaising with Southwark Council on this piece of work.
22.9 Councillor Simson was informed that the Head of Safer Communities would look into extending the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy beyond the domestic setting. Jo Martindale raised that the Council did have a much broader Violence Against Women and Girls strategy between 2012-2017 which could provide a template going forward. Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw added that Sussex Police are developing a Violence Against Women and Girls action plan which will feed into the overall strategy for the city.
RESOLVED: That the Committee:
Noted the work being undertaken by the Council and partners to address violence against women and girls in the City.
The Head of Safer Communities to:
· To report back to Councillor Simson regarding the funding of the safeguarding initiatives.
· To report back to Councillor Simson the information about the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy being taken beyond just a domestic setting.
· To report back to all Committee members with information about the logistics of the 24 hour help being offered in the city’s car parks.