We are committed to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) and work with our partners in Hertfordshire to eliminate it.
VAWG can include a wide range of offences including domestic abuse, sexual offences, honour-based abuse, stalking, coercive control, spiking and even murder. While men and boys are also victims of these offences, women and girls are disproportionately affected by them and must have confidence to report to police.
VAWG also includes behaviours such as ‘lower level’ misogyny or unwanted attention which can occur regularly in public places but may not reach the legal threshold of a crime. These behaviours can still have a significant impact, making locations or activities feel unsafe and women having to change their behaviour to avoid them as a result. This is not acceptable.
We are listening to women and girls, and in 2021 launched a countywide personal safety survey to better understand public views. It attracted more than 13,000 responses which have gone on to help inform our force’s VAWG strategy. This strategy supports the national policing framework for VAWG and is shaping how we police Hertfordshire today.
Members of the public can also raise concerns with us through the anonymous StreetSafe scheme and our own local ‘Feelings of Safety’ surveys, which we use to better understand issues or locations of concern within our districts and boroughs. Our Safer Neighbourhood Teams receive this information and work with local partners to address any issues as they arise.
Officer training as well as our internal “Call it out” campaign makes it clear what standards of behaviour are expected of them as well as signposting the support available to enable them to challenge inappropriate behaviour from colleagues.
The constabulary is also part of the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls Partnership and is accredited by the White Ribbon campaign to ending men’s violence against women. We also support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence alongside organisations across the county.
Our Operation Advisory campaign runs at strategic times throughout the year and reminds the public what consent is and where to get help and support if you are victim of a sexual offence.
Specialist police units are dedicated to supporting and protecting victims and investigating offences sensitively. Newly developed police tactics, such as Operation Vigilant, that target those who perpetrate VAWG are being introduced in Hertfordshire and we work with the Crown Prosecution Service to improve investigations and prosecutions.
StreetSafe is a service that allows you to report safety concerns in public places without giving us your name (anonymously).
Safer Neighbourhood Teams regularly survey the public on their Feelings of Safety. Join OWL or follow your local police on social media to find out more about when these occur.
Herts Sunflower offers information about help and support services in Hertfordshire for people experiencing domestic abuse. Or contact the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088 for free and confidential support. (Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 9am to 9pm, and Sat to Sun: 9am to 4pm). Alternatively, email.
If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted call 0808 178 4448 to access confidential support services from the Hertfordshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Men and women can access free help and advice without involving the police. Alternatively, go to Herts SARC (opens in a new window) for more information. In an emergency, always call police on 999.
The Chrysalis Centre is a service offering a range of support services to anyone displaying domestically abusive behaviour. This can include physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or coercive or controlling behaviour at home or with someone they are in a relationship with.
Participants must be aged 10 or over, live in Hertfordshire and want to change their abusive behaviour.