Working together to tackle violence against women and girls in Hertsmere
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Police, councils and representatives from the hospitality sector in Hertsmere came together this week for a conference aimed at tackling violence against women and girls.
The event, held at Sky Studios Elstree on Monday (27 November), was organised by officers from the Hertsmere Community Safety Unit, in partnership with Hertsmere Borough Council.
It aimed to raise awareness of the training and support available to those who work in establishments such as pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, to help keep people safer in the nighttime economy.
The day was opened by Hertsmere Chief Inspector Mark Bilsdon, before attendees heard inputs from the constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team and the Halo unit, which focuses on tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
Presentations were also given by representatives from the Community Security Trust, Licensing SAVI (Security and Vulnerability Initiative), Ask for Angela and Hertfordshire County Council around the White Ribbon Promise.
Councillor Christian Gray, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Neighbourhoods, Enforcement, Economic Development and Transformation at Hertsmere Borough Council, closed the conference by reinforcing the importance of working together to tackle the issue.
Sergeant Alex Smedley, from the Community Safety Unit, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for the constabulary, but everyone can play a part. This event was organised to help give those in the hospitality industry the tools and confidence to do so. I’d like to thank all those who attended, and Sky Studios Elstree for hosting us. We’ll be looking to hold similar events in the future.”
Cllr Gray said: “Violence against women and girls is an alarming reality that affects millions worldwide. To address this pervasive problem, we must first acknowledge that violence against women and girls is a societal problem that requires a collective response.
“The community safety team here in Hertsmere have been working closely with the Community Security Trust (CST) and the police to deliver women’s safety talks across the borough. Since June there have been four talks aimed at our residents and local communities in Borehamwood, Bushey, Potters Bar and Radlett.
“Our most recent event was aimed specifically at licenced premises in our borough. I would like to thank all the hospitality staff who attended this event to learn more about violence against women and girls. They heard about a range of topics from organisations, including conflict management, which will help us to work together to support females in our community and make a positive impact on their experiences.”
Tom Avison, Director of Operations at Sky Studios Elstree said: “As a local business we want to make a difference by supporting crucial work like this, and so we were privileged to have hosted this event which promoted dialogue and action around this important subject.”
It is currently ‘16 days of activism against gender-based violence’ and the constabulary is working alongside organisations across Hertfordshire to help end violence against women and girls, where to get help and support and what we are doing to tackle it.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of abusive behaviour, visit the Herts Sunflower website or call the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline free of charge on 08 088 088 088. Both offer advice, guidance and signposting to a wide range of services available in Hertfordshire.