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Meeting with Kent Police - Violence against women and girls

11th November 2021

Yesterday, Councillors Kate Alden-Morris & Gordon Newton had the opportunity to attend a meeting with Kent Police to discuss the issue of violence against women and girls. This meeting was called in the light of various high profile cases that have reflected badly upon certain police officers; in particular the death of Sarah Everard and the treatment of sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry by police officers after their brutal murder.

Cllr Alden-Morris was greatly comforted by the Chief Constable's engagement and enthusiasm to always do better.

‘I would wish to bring to the attention of in particular women and girls in Kent to a new initiative in response to the death of Sarah Everard at the hands of a serving police officer. Kent Police have brought in a verification check. Any police officer who is on duty must have a working radio. Any woman or girl who is approached by a police officer and feels at risk has the right to request that officer to radio the control room and obtain confirmation that they are presently on duty and where they are supposed to be. Since October 20+ women have taken the opportunity to obtain such confirmation.’

The Chief Constable also wished it brought to attention that there is a free app https://hollieguard.com/ available which has the facility to turn any smart phone into a personal safety device.

Above all, the members of the police force wished to pass on in the strongest terms that their approach with violence towards women and girls is a perpetrator-focused approach, and that they strive to not place any blame on victims at any time.