CELEBRATIONS were in order as West Midlands Police was handed national recognition for the ongoing work to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG).
The force’s Time to Talk (TTT) school sessions and Operation Sandstar were highlighted at the first National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing’s recognition event in London.
The event, which celebrates those who work tirelessly to support victims and pursue perpetrators, was developed and judged jointly by police forces and representatives from charities – such as SafeLives, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Karma Nirvana.
West Midlands Police’s TTT work with young people was highlighted in a number of categories.
The sessions address the harmful misogyny and sexual behaviour through school settings, with bespoke sessions to boys and specialist male practitioners sensitively explore themes relevant to the VAWG to challenge harmful narratives and ideologies.
The force says this has been positively received by both schools and young people, and the feedback from boys is they have learned to identify negative role models and how it has changed their views.
It was also highlighted for Operation Sandstar which has seen the force work closely with a number of partners through the West Midlands Sex Work Forum to reduce risk and harm to vulnerable women.
There was also regional recognition in the ambassador category with Police and Crime Commissioner policy officer Jennifer Alder praised for tackling VAWG in multiple ways including addressing misogyny, safer streets, multi-agency working and Operation Soteria to change rape victims’ experience of the criminal justice system.