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Letter to the Home Secretary on adding VAWG to the strategic policing requirement

The Victims' Commissioner writes to the Home Secretary following her announcement that violence against women and girls will be made a national policing priority. Dame Vera lends her support to the move and requests an update on the next steps.

18 March 2021

Dear Home Secretary,

Adding VAWG to the strategic policing requirement

Thank you for your recent announcement that you are accepting and implementing all of the recommendations made by HMICFRS in their violence against women and girls (VAWG) inspection. This includes adding VAWG to the strategic policing requirement (SPR), a change which I have campaigned for. It clearly signals the government’s intent to get to grips with VAWG and reassure both victims and the public that this is an issue of utmost national importance and an urgent national policing priority.

I am grateful for this fine decision which places VAWG on the same footing as terrorism and is essential to respond to this important and endemic issue.

The addition of VAWG to the SPR is the excellent over-arching first step. Presumably, a process will follow which ensures that, in fact, VAWG is given the prominence and priority appropriate to its new strategic status in every police force. This is likely to involve extensive work, both locally and nationally, to transform the police response and deliver the improvements we both want to see on the ground.

As Victims’ Commissioner, I welcome and encourage this work. I would be grateful if you could outline the next steps that will follow from the announcement so that we can prepare to give all the support we can to ensure that performance is successfully optimised. Perhaps your officials could highlight areas where my Office can particularly add value.

Kind regards,

Dame Vera Baird QC
Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales