North Yorkshire candidates' rival plans to reduce violence against women

The Conservative Party candidate for North Yorkshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner has launched a survey to consult on violence against women and girls while his rivals are calling for strong action to be taken by the Government..

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 6:01 pm
Concerns have grown among candidates in the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections over improving protection for women against violence.

Philip Allott has launched the new study in North Yorkshire and York in the hopes of outlining a plan to tackle the problem which has recently become a major national issue.

The survey, which is being promoted on Facebook and Twitter, is aimed at determining the level of violence in the county and is in response to public concerns for the safety of women following the tragic death of Sarah Everard who was originally from York.

Mr Allott, who is the North Yorkshire Conservative, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner candidate in this May’s election has also a number of plans to improve the safety of women if he is elected and he also wants to build on a number of existing initiatives.

As part of a national allocation of money, North Yorkshire and York has been granted £500,000 to spend on improving female safety.

Mr Allott says he wants some of this money spent on increased policing around pubs and night clubs when they open and improvements to the CCTV network to allow a universal solution for North Yorkshire. Currently CCTV cameras are run by different Councils, which can hamper police investigations and even result in the police being charged for access.

Mr Allott, will also be looking to develop a multi-agency taskforce where social services, schools, retail businesses and the police work more closely together to identify male perpetrators of violence against women, to educate younger men who might be at risk of being violent and to provide more protection for women. The latter could include an extension of the ‘ask for Angela’ scheme in York where women who are being followed or intimidated can find sanctuary in certain venues like pubs and shops by asking to see Angela.

The Tory candidate also hopes to ensure that successfully prosecuted perpetrators of violence against women and girls are given extensive media publicity as a deterrent to others.

Mr Allott said: “It is deeply concerning that too many women remain victims of domestic and sexual violence. Therefore, I will also work to raise awareness and try and get people especially men to become more aware of what constitutes violence, abuse, controlling behaviour, sexual abuse and consent.”

This is going to be a substantial project, and the best way of achieving our objectives of protecting women and young girls is to have a multi-agency approach. If elected the £500,000 should be invested into things that will provide long term security.

“Therefore, whilst including in my Police and Crime Plan increased police activities based on both plain clothed and high visibility uniforms, we also need to ensure that we get the best possible return from CCTV, and that other key stakeholders engage in the process to help us reduce or stop violence against women and girls.

“I will be pressing the Home Secretary to consider a law change that would allow men responsible for lower-level misbehaviour to be given a night time tag, to curtail lower-level anti-social behaviour towards women and society in general.”

The Labour Party candidate, Alison Hume says she is angry over violence against women and how the Government has "failed" to improve the performance on the issue by the police and criminal justice system.

Alison Hume said: "Like millions of women across the country, I feel anger and deep sadness over what happened to Sarah Everard – a young woman who attended a local school in the same city where my own two daughters grew up and were educated.

"I can’t imagine the pain and suffering her family are experiencing and will continue to experience for the rest of their lives.

"Every week at least three women in the UK have their lives brutally cut short by violent men.

"As women, we all automatically take precautionary measures because taking responsibility for our own safety has been ingrained in us by our mothers, and as mothers we ingrain it into our daughters in turn.

"The truth is that women need to be much better protected by the police and criminal justice system, both on the streets and in our own homes.

"Women should be able to walk the streets and live our lives free from harm, fear and threat.

"My thoughts are with Sarah’s loved ones but I will continue to call for the urgent action needed to end violence against women and girls."

Meanwhile, James Barker, the Lib Dem PFCC candidate, argues that what is needed is a lot more resources for the police, something which his party keenly supports after years of Tory cuts.

Mr Barker said: "Anything that can be done to reduce any level of violence against anyone has got to be welcomed.

"Surveys are fine in their own right but it's the actions afterwards that determine if it was successful or not.

"The Liberal Democrats have pledged over 20,000 more police officers, looking to reverse the Conservative cuts.

"Everyone has the right to be safe, regardless."

Independent candidate Keith Tordoff MBE said that no one should be subject to violence, regardless of gender

Mr Tordoff said: "The Government closed its review on March 26 regarding submissions from the public and interested parties regarding violence against women and girls.

"The Government will shortly, following review of the submissions, be outlining their strategy for dealing with the crimes from between now and 2024 the year of the next General election.

"It is important to stress that men and boys are also subjected to violence which will be taken into account from information that was submitted.

"No one in society should be subject to violence and the Police must follow up each case using the best investigative strategies.

"Only through working with the public, those in education, social care and public health can we start to make it so that people can live without fear of violence and abuse.

"As an Independent candidate on May 6 in the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner election I will work with the Chief Constable to prioritise investigations into complaints of violence in North Yorkshire."

Factfile: North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections, North Yorkshire, May 6, 2021

The candidates

Conservative: Philip Allott

Labour: Alison Hume

Lib Dem: James Barker.

Independent: Keith Tordoff MBE.

Looking back: Result of 2016 election for North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

First Choice Voting: Conservative 53,078 Labour 34,351 Independent 30,984 Lib Dem 13,856

As no candidate won over 50%, the second preferences of the Independent and Lib Dem candidates were distributed to the two leading candidates, giving this final result:

Conservative 65,018

Labour 44,759

Factfile: North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) elections will take place on Thursday, May 6; the same day as the North Yorkshire County Council Elections.

PFCCs are elected every four years and are elected representatives who oversee a police force and fire service area.

There will be one PFCC elected for all of North Yorkshire.

The winner will replace the current commissioner Julia Mulligan, who has come to the end of her term.

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