Show of support for Portsmouth Reclaim the Night march

Hampshire Fire and Rescue service and Police at the Historic Dockyard help launch the White Ribbon reclaim the night event.''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123817-1)
Hampshire Fire and Rescue service and Police at the Historic Dockyard help launch the White Ribbon reclaim the night event.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123817-1)
Oxford Circus tube station has been closed after a police incident

UPDATE: Oxford Circus tube station opened again after police say there is no evidence of shots being fired or any casualties

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EMERGENCY services are backing calls for an end to sexual and domestic violence.

Hundreds of men, women and children are to descend on to Portsmouth’s streets tomorrow night for the third annual Reclaim The Night march.

And in a show of support representatives from the emergency services have decorated their vehicles with giant white ribbons.

Chief Inspector Ali Heydari, who is responsible for policing in Havant and Waterlooville, said: ‘I hope that together we can help to raise awareness of domestic violence and also help these two hard working organisations to promote the Reclaim the Night march.

‘I’d urge people to take part in the march tomorrow to stand together against violence towards women.’

The march is organised by Aurora New Dawn which works with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and the Portsmouth branch of the White Ribbon Group.

It will see people march through the city’s streets from the Spinnaker Tower at Gunwharf Quays to Guildhall Square where a rally will be held.

The march is being led by local drumming group Batala.

Local artists have also been lined up to perform.

People who take part are asked to wear something white or purple to show solidarity with victims of violence.

The symbolic march aims to enable women to reclaim public spaces in safety and highlight high levels of violence against women worldwide.

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who received a White Ribbon award status on behalf of the city in 2010, said: ‘Domestic violence causes harm to families and can lead to the most serious crimes.

‘Everyone has a duty to make sure that families are not blighted by aggression and violence.’

The march starts from the Spinnaker Tower at 7pm