Nottinghamshire Police recognised with White Ribbon accreditation
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Nottinghamshire Police has been recognised for its care and commitment towards survivors of domestic abuse by securing White Ribbon accreditation.
White Ribbon is a global campaign that encourages people, especially men and boys, to challenge the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence.
To wear a White Ribbon is to promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.
Detective Inspector Dan Evans is domestic abuse lead at Nottinghamshire Police. Speaking after attending an accreditation ceremony on Tuesday with colleagues from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, he said:
“As a White Ribbon accredited organisation, we are fully committed to stopping male violence against women and girls and to ending abusive relationships.
“The results of this work can be seen every day – in the perpetrators who are arrested and held to account, and the survivors who are protected from further harm.
“In recent years we have made significant strides in this area and now take a very proactive approach to safeguarding victims – even in cases where we are not able to secure criminal charges.
“So, whilst we are happy to receive this accreditation, it also serves as a reminder about just how much work we and others have to do in challenging the attitudes and behaviours that lead to this kind of abuse.”
White Ribbon Day (25 November) comes at the start of 16 days of global action to address violence against women and girls.
During this period Nottinghamshire Police will be working to inform the public about its work to keep victims safe, hold perpetrators to account, and to encourage reporting of abuse cases.
In recent years the force has adopted a very bold and proactive approach to tackling male violence against women and girls and keeping victims safe.
Above all, officers are focussed on preventing further harm to victims and – even in cases where criminal charges cannot be secured.
Proactive arrest and strict bail conditions – Officers are encouraged to arrest suspects, interview them under caution and put in place bail conditions that prevent further harm to victims. These can include restrictions on their movements, access to children and also prohibit any further contact through a third party.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders – civil court orders that can be granted within 48 hours of an officer issuing a temporary Domestic Violence Protection Notice. These are used to protect victims by prohibiting any form of contact by perpetrators.
Non Molestation Orders – civil court orders that place restrictions on perpetrators, including not contacting or visiting their victims. Victims are supported by advocacy groups to apply for these.
Evidence Led Prosecutions - where charges can be brought even when victims do not wish to give a statement or go to court.
Stalking Prevention Orders – civil court orders that allow police to intervene early before cases have gone to court and / or behaviours escalate. Nineteen such orders are currently in place and the force was recently praised by the Home Office for its work in this area
Clare’s Law (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme) – which gives victims and or people connected to them the ‘right to ask’ police for a disclosure about their partner. In some cases Nottinghamshire Police may proactively approach women where concerns exist about their partner. Nottinghamshire Police was the first force in the country to introduce mandatory consideration or right to know legislation in all cases of domestic assault.
Officers have also made use of changes in the law to prosecute men who strangle their partners. Previously this would have been treated as an assault but is now a specific offence bringing with it a separate and severe criminal sanction.
Deputy Chief Constable Steve Cooper said:
“Too many women are currently trapped in abusive relationships with male partners who pose a very significant risk to their physical and mental wellbeing.
“And that is why this accreditation really matters to me – because I genuinely believe in it as effective way to change behaviours and safeguard victims.
“The attitudes and behaviours that lead to male violence against women are sadly all too prevalent in our society – including among younger men and teenage boys.
“The good news is that that these attitudes are now being challenged. Our response to this issue is also barely recognisable to our response when I first joined the police.
“We are now more able than ever to truly bring an end to abusive relationships. We are more willing to arrest suspects and to impose stringent bail conditions. We are more willing to secure protective court orders that protect victims and create space between them and their abusers.
“We are more willing to use evidence led prosecutions when victims are too afraid to confront their abuser in court. And we are working more closely with partners to ensure victims are protected from the most serious harm.
“If this initiative can lead even a small number of people to think about and challenge the behaviour that leads to this kind of violence then it would have been worthwhile.”