New UK police powers pose risk to domestic violence services
Concerns have been raised about the impact that forthcoming changes to local policing in England and Wales will have on violence against women services.
On 15 November Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will be elected.
They will be accountable for tackling crime in their local area and will have control of the police budget.
This will have huge implications for women’s organisations, the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) coalition has warned.
Sarah Green, their spokesperson, said: “Those elected will have the power to determine funding for domestic and sexual violence services.
“This will affect the priority given to tackling violence against women, and funding for specialist services such as Rape Crisis – which we know make a crucial difference in supporting women and girls after assault.”
EVAW, together with Rape Crisis England and Wales and the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC), are now calling on women’s organisations to lobby their local candidates to ask them to make dealing with violence against women a local police priority.
Ms Green added: “We urge women’s organisations to start pursuing candidates and making demands of them now. Get in contact and tell them about the importance of specialist women’s services.”
Welsh Women’s Aid has already responded with a manifesto for candidates to sign.
It was recently revealed that over 80 per cent of confirmed PCC candidates to date are male.
The most high profile females to stand so far are former solicitor general Vera Baird and ex-MP Jane Kennedy.