Many members from the Medway Labour Party were in attendance at a recent Kent Police-run community engagement event that was an opportunity for our local police force to explain what measures they were taking to help end violence against women and girls.

The event also allowed members of the public to raise their concerns in an open questions and answers session.

Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Spokesperson for Housing said:

“It was good to hear about the work Kent Police are doing to help end violence against women and girls. It was also positive to see that issues like spiking were on the police’s radar, as well as the fact that they are working with boys as well as girls to push for cultural change.”

Lauren Edwards, Medway Labour candidate in the Rochester East by-election said:

“I welcome Kent Police being pro-active and holding events to explain its approach to tackling violence against women and girls.

“It was clear there is a big appetite in Medway for more action to tackle the behaviours of men and boys rather than always putting the onus on women to try to keep themselves safe. Kent Police’s outreach programme for schools aims to do this and is being led by a young local policewoman. This is a positive step forward and I’d like to see it rolled out to colleges and universities across Medway.”

Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Spokesperson for Health said:

“Whilst I was pleased the Police are seeking to publicly reassure women and girls that violence against them is taken seriously, I was disappointed invitations to the event were not more widely shared across the community.

“The most important aspect of the event was the opportunity to share experiences and learn from them – so the failure to publicise the event more effectively meant many victims of violence could not attend.

“I hope this event was the first step and that we will see more commitment from Kent Police to tackle violence against women and girls over the longer term.”

Cllr Pat Cooper, representative of Gillingham North added:

“The recent dreadful murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police Officer has certainly alerted them to the fact that the Police have to regain the confidence of women.

“Even though they have been quoted as being an outstanding force, the question and answer session at the end showed them that they cannot be complacent, and need to follow through with the actions and promises to help keep women safe.”

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