Women and girls must be given better protection | Stephen Morgan MP

A WOMAN is killed every three days and the number of female homicide victims is at its highest level in 15 years. Women and girls face harassment and abuse in their daily lives.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:25 pm
SPIKING: Much needs to be done to make the world safer for women and girls. Picture: Shutterstock

But government is letting them down on every front. Rape prosecutions and convictions are at a record low. Victims are abandoning their trials because of government-created delays. Crown Court delays are at a record high.

Now is the time for long overdue protection for women and girls against unacceptable violence. Not just action against domestic homicides, rape, and street harassment, but a strategy to challenge behaviour and tackle misogynistic attitudes.

The murder of Sarah Everard has raised serious questions about police conduct. That’s why I’m liaising with the police on these matters locally.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I was deeply concerned by the confirmation that a local police officer assigned to a vulnerable victim of crime had abused their position in abhorrent circumstances. Following the officer’s dismissal, I wrote to the home secretary to ensure the case is considered as part of her recently announced inquiry.

Last week, I hosted a meeting with key groups to discuss this and the wider problem of violence against women and girls in Portsmouth. One concern raised is spiking in clubs and bars, including through injection.

This spate of crimes must be tackled now, bringing together the police, council, venues, university and – crucially – listening to victims.

The home secretary must act quickly on the outcomes of her investigation into the scale of this problem. She must identify ways to stop these crimes, bring those responsible to justice and ensure they face the full force of the law.

I regularly join police patrols to better understand local challenges and have launched a survey asking how we can make our city safer. People must feel safe in their everyday lives. While I will continue to be a strong voice on these issues in parliament, we all have a part to play in changing culture, empowering women and preventing violence.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 26p a day.