Warwickshire’s police and crime commissioner has warned that action needs to be taken to tackle misogyny in the county’s police force.
DIscussing the latest five-year Warwickshire Police and Crime Plan, which is currently in draft form, Philip Seccombe said: “We must also ensure that misogyny has no place within the police, criminal justice agencies or wider society as a whole.
“Confidence in policing and the way it tackles issues of misogyny in its own workforce needs to be restored, through the enforcement of the highest standards of officer and staff conduct. Victims also need to be reassured that criminal justice processes are supportive and effective and that those responsible for misogyny will be made to properly account for their actions.”
At this week’s meeting of the Warwickshire Police and Crime Panel, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council representative Cllr Clare Golby asked for more details about how the PCC’s office would hope to achieve this.
Mr Seccombe responded: “What we need to do is see fairness in the workplace. The police force like anywhere else reflects society as a whole and I think there is no doubt that misogyny has increased and that is not a good thing in any sphere of work.
“We wanted to get in the plan that there would be monitoring of this issue and objectives to reduce it - whistle-bowing type things to try and get it reduced.”
And the recently appointed new chief constable, Debbie Tedds, added: “I welcome the commissioner putting this in the plan to hold us to account. It is really important that we have high internal standards and actually everyone can come to work, be themselves with the fear of any disproportionality.”
Committee chairman Cllr David Reilly, representing North Warwickshire Borough Council, said: “It is interesting we should be sitting here in 2021 and still talking about extreme prejudice within the organisation after 25-30 years or discussion about institutionalised racism and behaviours .
“It is a useful reminder that you can never take your eye off the ball - I’m sure that anyone in Warwickshire would be hugely alarmed to find that there was any element of misogynistic behaviour going on anywhere in Warwickshire Police.”
Elsewhere in his draft crime plan, Mr Seccombe outlined his hopes to tackle increasing levels of violence against women and girls.
He said: “I will support the formulation of a new county-wide strategy to co-ordinate activity across all relevant agencies. Together we must make it clear that such violence is unacceptable and that agencies will do everything possible to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
“It will be important for policing, in particular, to demonstrate significant progress in this area and I will hold the force to account to do so.”