|Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (P-VAWG)
In a collective effort to address the pressing issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG), a board comprising representatives from Law Enforcement, Security Industry Authority, Security Institute, Change Professionals, The Taxi profession, and the Safer Business Network, came together under the leadership of Don Randall MBE, the Chair of the City of London Crime Prevention Association. Their goal was to champion the prevention of VAWG and work towards making the city a safer place for all.
The Birth of the Initiative:
The inspiration for this noble cause came to light during a conversation between Don Randall and Beth Nash from the Safer Business Network. Beth shared the challenges faced by women relating to incidents of spiking, harassment, and sexual assault. Compelled by the urgency to address these issues, the board embarked on their journey to effect meaningful change.
Initial conference on VAWG:
To gather support and raise awareness, the board organised a conference on VAWG and domestic abuse. The event witnessed the participation of 130 individuals, including representatives from the City of London Crime Prevention Association, Safer Business Network, City Security Council, and friends and colleagues. Notably, it was well-attended by esteemed figures such as Angela McLaren, the Commissioner, and partnerships from various organisations across the City of London.
Recognising the importance and momentum gained by these initiatives, the board succeeded in securing financial support from proceeds of crime funding. This financial support will play a crucial role in furthering these initiatives, fostering a safe environment for the people visiting the city for work, shopping, and socialising.
Women’s Safety Initiative: Initial Strands
The launch of the Women’s Safety Initiative at the Liverpool Street Station taxi rank. Collaborating with the London Taxi PR (LTPR), the City of London Crime Prevention Association introduced Taxi Marshalling, aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women utilising taxi services. This initiative promises to be a significant step in addressing safety concerns and ensuring a positive experience for women travelling in the City.
Data Analysis and Insight
To gauge the concerns and sentiments of women in the city regarding their safety, a survey has been widely circulated. The response has been overwhelming, with over 500 participants sharing their insights. Collaborating with law enforcement, the Safer Business Network, the City Security Council, the Corporation of London, and other key stakeholders, the board aims to carefully review and address these concerns, incorporating them into their ongoing initiative. The survey data coupled with the work from The Oxford Partnership has supported the P-VAWG initiative by collating data and mapping crime, licenced establishments, along with people’s movements through the City (incorporating the survey data) to identify a map of where the issues are and where we need focus our efforts.
Safe Havens are a practical way for businesses to let people know that a form of support is easily available if they need help.
The definition of a Safe Haven is –
“A place of temporary refuge for a person to facilitate their onward journey. Whilst the Safe Haven cannot provide specialist interventions, staff can contact emergency services and/or signpost to specialist services where needed”.
We will be looking for businesses that are willing to be a Safe Haven to help women with their onward journeys – for example:
· Providing a friendly face and reassurance.
· Allowing the individual to charge their phone.
· Calling a taxi.
· Contacting family/friends.
· Waiting for, or signposting to transport.
· If required, making a phone call to the emergency services, or offering useful helpline numbers to the affected person.
We have created a Safe Haven Logo and App to publicise the presence of Safe Havens throughout the city.
ASK Angela & WAVE Training
WAVE Training aims to increase the skills, knowledge, and confidence of those working in licensed premises when identifying vulnerability and making appropriate interventions.
At the end of the training attendees will be able to:
Know the history of WAVE and Ask for Angela
Understand the definition of vulnerability.
Explore what makes people vulnerable.
Identify factors that assist you to recognise vulnerability.
Explore where interventions can be made to reduce vulnerability.
Identify appropriate interventions to assist in reducing harm.
Recognise and promote the Ask for Angela Campaign
NSI – Building Security Assessment Scheme
The objective of the scheme is to enhance security, safety, and fire safety standards within multi-occupied commercial buildings. It serves as a benchmark, reflecting the commitment of commercial property owners to safeguarding their premises, staff, and the public.
EIDA – Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse
Support in the city for EIDA and encourage as many businesses as possible to get onboard.
· Raising awareness about the role of employers in stopping domestic abuse
· Equipping employers with tools they need to care for employees affected by domestic abuse.
· Connecting members to the right partners and initiatives for support, best practice, and shared learning
The initiatives have received immense support from notable individuals. Lady Mayoress Elisabeth Mainelli has graciously agreed to become the patron for Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (P-VAWAG). Additionally, Ian Dyson and Sarah Cork have joined as ambassadors, further bolstering the cause.
The Board have set their sights on not only reducing violence against women and girls in the City of London but also expanding these initiatives to other cities. With a long-term vision in mind, they aim to create a template that can be successfully replicated elsewhere, promoting safety and security for women across the country.
The City of London Crime Prevention Association meeting at The Fishmongers’ Hall on Monday, November 27th will featured Shital, a guest speaker who previously spoke about domestic abuse at the VAWG conference in February. Additionally, during the gathering, the first recipients of the newly revised Building Security Assessment Scheme were announced, and the board officially launched their P-VAWG & DA initiatives.
Under the leadership of Don Randall MBE, the initiatives to prevent violence against women and girls have gained significant traction. With the support of key stakeholders, financial backing, and active engagement from various organisations and individuals, these initiatives are poised to make a tangible difference in the safety and security of women in the City of London. By sharing their experiences and implementing solutions, the board are paving the way for a brighter and safer future, both within the City and beyond.
|Link to survey https://survey.zohopublic.eu/zs/PhBjGZ
In answering the survey, they will help us take a step towards making the City safer for everyone to reside, work, socialise and visit.
Thank you for your support.
Don Randall MBE
Chairman CoLCPA #OurSaferCity