Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews today announced plans to launch a round-table discussion to tackle violence against women and girls in the night-time economy, amid increased reports of spiking across the county.
As the UK prepares to observe 16 Days of Action to tackle gender-based violence, the Commissioner said it was imperative violence and assaults such as ‘spiking’ was tackled robustly and that Police and local authority leads worked together with licensees to increase the safety of revellers.
In his Police and Crime Plan, Mr Matthews make clear his commitment to tackling violent crime, requiring the improvement to the investigative capabilities of the Force, building trust and confidence in local communities and doing all that he can to bring the perpetrators of abuse and violence to justice and making it a priority to better support victims.
With increasing reports of suspecting spiking incidents across the country - and in Leicestershire - Mr Matthews said more needed to be done to make women and girls safer, particularly in vulnerable situations within the night-time economy where the risk of becoming a victim was often greater.
He said: “Leicestershire, like many other areas of the country, has seen a high number of reports of drink spiking which is causing anxiety and fear. While I believe this increase could be in response to heightened publicity and increased confidence among the public to report this type of incident, there is nonetheless a critical need to examine this issue closely and ensure we are doing everything possible, as a collective, to safeguard women on a night out in our county.
“Harassment, assault and violence are serious crimes. I believe perpetrators must face serious consequences. However, the Police alone cannot prevent this crime and we need to work together with all parties to ensure our late night venues have the systems and protocols in place to stop these incidents happening in the first place.
“With this in mind, I intend to call a round-table discussion with the Force, partners and night-time economy employers and staff to discuss how they might boost security in the wake of these suspected incidents and also understand what I can do as Commissioner to support their work and make women and girls safer.
“Leicestershire has a rich and thriving night-time economy and I want to ensure people can enjoy it safely. This requires a team response and I am keen to secure the commitment of all partners in tackling this issue with urgency.”
The announcement comes as thousands of people support annual White Ribbon Day by signing the White Ribbon Promise.
White Ribbon UK is part of the global White Ribbon movement to end men’s violence against women which urges men to sign a pledge to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. The day is followed by 16 days of action asking communities across the UK to come together to reject violence against women.
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Posted on Thursday 25th November 2021