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"Male brotherhood culture" letting down sexual violence victims

The Victims’ Commissioner has warned of “a male brotherhood culture" in forces meaning victims of sexual violence were blamed for their crimes.

Dame Vera Baird was critical of the police’s approach to VAWG, both historically and currently..

“What more do women’s voices have to do for police to take VAWG more seriously?" she told the NPCC/APPC conference today..

“VAWG has no focus in the police, no status in the police, no central direction, no central resources and it kills a woman every three days,” she said. 

“Why don’t the police tackle violence against women and girls properly? Or should the question be why won’t the police tackle violence against women and girls properly?

“Maybe it's because you’re blaming the victims of it for crimes through some undertone of sexism, either brought or encouraged by male brotherhood culture?

“Don’t you owe it to the public to change that?”

NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt said he did not agree with that characterisation of a sexist “brotherhood” and called her comments “not very sensible”. 

Dame Vera said the service was “overwhelmingly male”, and that no one would have faith again in the police before it rooted out its own people. 

She mentioned Wayne Couzens who before the murder or Sarah Everard was “flashing a few weeks before, known affectionately as rapist to his pals, but nobody did much about it”.

Andrea Simon, director of End Violence Against Women, was also on the panel.

She referenced the new YouGov survey on declining women’s trust of officers since the details of Sarah Everard’s murder became public.

Ms Simon highlighted how since 2017, 2,000 officers, Specials and PCSOs at 39 forces faced accusations of sexual wrongdoing. 15 per cent had previously been reported for misconduct, 60 per cent resulted in no disciplinary action and 8 per cent were dismissed.

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