Rebuilding Trust with Women and Girls in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard, police forces across the country published guidance on lone male officers stopping lone females.
In Hampshire, the safety of women and girls is a permanent priority for us and in this time we have been consulting with our Independent Advisory Groups on how we can rebuild trust and empower women. This engagement and scrutiny is ongoing so that we always have the opportunity to improve.
We have been looking at how we can ensure the onus is on us to provide women with reassurance when they are approached by a lone male officer, and understand some women’s fears.
We have ensured our officers are aware of what they need to do when stopping a lone female, or arresting a lone female.
The first point is that it will be rare for a lone male police officer to approach a lone woman or girl. However, if it is absolutely necessary to do so, our male officers in uniform and plain clothes, have been advised to carry out the following actions:
We will disconnect any ear piece and call up the control room on our police radio in the presence of the female advising the control room of their name and call sign and the location of the stop. This ensures that the call is logged and recorded on the contact management system and the wider force is aware of the location and the identity of the officer who is dealing.
We will turn on our body worn video to provide extra reassurance and let you know that it has been activated.
We will not put a lone female in a vehicle without having other officers present. When anyone is arrested, we will ask colleagues to come and help.
In the event that a lone male officer must arrest a lone woman or a girl, they will only be placed into an independent marked police vehicle, deployed to the location via the control room.
We’re putting this approach in place to ensure the onus is on us to put the public at ease, so that women do not to have to challenge us.
Our approach is one that disempowers offenders, and empowers women and girls with the official process of how a stop or arrest will take place.
Policing is built upon the values of professionalism, compassion, courage and integrity, and the public has a right to expect the highest standards from the officers and staff who are entrusted to keep you safe.
We are determined to work hard to gain back and rebuild trust. We all want to prove the true values we live by and why we chose to join policing.
We will continue to ensure that the people we employ within Hampshire Constabulary are held to account for the highest ethical standards. This includes the vetting of new officers and proactively rooting out quickly any officer or staff member who fails to do so.
We come into this job to keep people safe, irrespective of any risk it poses to us, and we do it because we care about people.
If you ever do not feel safe, you are not reassured, or you think something is not right, in any situation, call 999. Our call handlers are here to help.
Do you want to help us improve?
Our Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs) are crucial in our continued work to forge stronger and closer partnerships with our communities and how we can improve. We welcome anyone who wishes to join and help provide a broader range of scrutiny on what we do.
We have both adult and youth IAGs that review and challenge policing practices in a constructive way.