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7(L: Acting Chief Constable Benjamin Snuggs, R: Police Sergeant Peter Rackham)
Several officers across Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary have been recognised for their efforts as part of the recent Chief Constable's Award Ceremony.
Improving the Constabulary’s disaster victim identification (DVI) capabilities, a huge commitment to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and an intricate exercise aimed at preventing cyber-attacks on the force were all recognised at the latest Chief Constable’s Awards – along with many medals for long service.
Among those receiving awards at the Police Training Headquarters in Netley on Friday 11 November was Police Sergeant Peter Rackham who was congratulated by Acting Chief Constable Benjamin Snuggs for taking a primary role in Hampshire Constabulary’s response to the murder of Sarah Everard in 2021 – which was among the darkest days for UK policing. Peter, alongside other colleagues from across the Constabulary, put significant resource and focus on the topic of violence against women and girls (VAWG) with it being recognised as a priority area for the Constabulary.
PS Rackham developed a partnership approach to tackling predatory behaviour in the night-time economy; playing a key role in being an early adopter of a training scheme – which entailed working with partner agencies to develop a training product for student officers, licensees and door staff to equip them for the safe reopening of the night-time economy.
He has also delivered the women's night safety charter and crucially instigated a night-time economy plan that is focused on the subject of VAWG with a clear call to action to localised partnership organisations, volunteers and staff to call out predatory behaviour and appropriately challenge situations.
During this time, PS Rackham also supported many local crime prevention initiatives across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that have come to the fore from local traders – an example being the contactless menu App where ‘Ask for Anglea’ safety principals were implemented. Peter led n messaging and ensuring the app was fit for purpose, meaning that over 20,000 users, predominantly in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, could ask for help if or when needed.
Whilst, perhaps most importantly, Peter used his years of experience to engage directly with victims to understand their experience and to develop the policing response to better support victims; including the use of Community Protection Notices against those displaying predatory behaviour in the night time economy.
PS Rackham joined Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary in 2007, beginning his career responding to emergency calls as part of the Response and Patrol command, before seeking another role, this time in the licencing team in Portsmouth. He has held this role for 10 years and has worked with numerous local businesses, partners and the community to better understand how they’re impacted by crime and develop innovative approaches to reducing crime in the night time economy.
A recent promotion led Peter to leading the local Fareham East Neighbourhoods Policing Team with a real focus on the topical issue of violence against women and girls and seeking to implement preventative measures against these crimes in the local area, whilst seeking to take robust action against perpetrators.
Police Sergeant Peter Rackham said on receiving his award: “I am really happy for this work to be recognised, however I want to state that this work would be nothing if the policing family, and partners, did not respond so well to following the guiding principles laid out in the work I performed.
“I have seen first-hand how our approach has supported vulnerable people and deterred perpetrators from committing offences. Licensed premises, police officers and the public have a huge role to play in calling out perpetrator behaviours and supporting women and girls in the community and we are now regularly seeing some fantastic work between everyone to achieve this.”
Acting Chief Constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary Ben Snuggs, said: “At Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary, we are very clear that violence, intimidation, misogyny, sexism and harassment of any kind towards women and girls is not acceptable in any form. Our action plan for reducing male violence against women and girls focuses on targeting perpetrators, building trust and confidence in our communities and creating safer spaces.
“Sergeant Rackham’s work on VAWG is a great example in this space and he’s a role model for the highest standards of behaviour in order for women and girls to have trust and confidence in us. As a force, we will continue to work to support victims and pursue perpetrators through the criminal justice system and I thank Peter for his efforts in achieving this.”