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Make Tackling Violence Against Women A Police Priority

violence against women

Make tackling violence against women a police priority, says victims tsar

Police forces should be compelled to deal with violence against women and girls with the same level of resources, expertise and urgency as terrorism or organised crime, the victims commissioner for England and Wales has said.

After Sarah Everard’s killer was given a full-life sentence on Thursday, campaigners said there was increasing frustration and the time for action was now.

Vera Baird said violence against women and girls should be made a strategic policing requirement to give the issue central direction and extra resources, particularly for specialist officers, so there was “no doubt what obligations the police have towards victims”.

She said: “There are many unanswered questions about how violence against women and girls is policed and I think if we have this clear requirement it sends a clear message that tackling it is a priority.”

Baird said requirements on agencies to fully investigate and take action in cases of violence against women could be included in the victims bill, which the Guardian understands was ready to be consulted on before the new justice secretary, Dominic Raab, took up his post.

“​​Without that it will just muddle on, being ignored as if it were a low-level crime,” she said. “We have seen in this awful case that what is seen as low-level offending against women and girls can mark out a predatory attitude to them which can speedily escalate if not tackled.”

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, led calls for an inquiry into how Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer who had been reported for indecent exposure on three occasions, “slipped through the cracks”. “[We] have to understand why that happened, and whether there were any assumptions made when his previous wrongdoing was looked at,” he said.

The Labour MP Yvette Cooper went further, calling for a full independent investigation into violence against women and girls within the police service.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, said there were “serious questions that need to be answered by the Metropolitan police” while giving her backing to the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick.

The director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham, called for a public inquiry into “how cultural failings by the police and the broader criminal justice system contribute to the murder or rape of tens of thousands of women a year”. He said: “Enough really is enough. How many more women must die?”

Baird’s call echoes the recommendation of a damning root-and-branch examination by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which found “problems, unevenness and inconsistencies” in dealing with the “epidemic” of violence against female victims in the UK.

It was published as news emerged that Sabina Nessa, a primary school teacher, had been found dead in a park close to her south London home. A man has appeared in court accused of her murder.

According to the Counting Dead Women project, run by Karen Ingala Smith, 80 women were killed between the deaths of Everard in March and Nessa on 17 September.

Campaigners in the sector said there was a growing sense of anger and frustration that promises of change were not resulting in greater safety for women.

Farah Nazeer, the chief executive of Women’s Aid, said a public inquiry into men’s violence against women and girls would probably expose other institutional and government failings but was unlikely to lead to the action needed.

There was already a wealth of evidence and recommendations in the Inspectorate of Constabulary report, the government’s recently published Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy and rape review, Nazeer said. “We all know what needs to be done. But making it a matter of priority, choosing to prioritise funding into this area, choosing to make that cultural shift – these are political choices that we’re not making.”

Women’s groups welcomed what some saw as an increased level of restraint in the reporting of Couzens’ trial, with many publications choosing not to feature a prominent photograph of the murderer, while BBC Radio 4’s Today programme chose to mention Couzens by name sparingly in its reporting on Thursday and included the full victim impact statement of Everard’s mother, Susan.

“We find that women’s experience is lost so often when we talk about the impact of male violence against women and girls,” said Jayne Butler, the chief executive of Rape Crisis England and Wales. “We welcome that some outlets have chosen to focus their coverage on Sarah.”

Andrea Simon, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said that despite the reviews and promises of change since Everard’s murder, little had changed.

“Violence against women and girls is at an epidemic level, the police inspectorate has said the whole system needs an overhaul, the government has already apologised for the shameful low rates of prosecution of rape. What more do we need to uncover? We actually just need to move to doing something about it,” she said. “We’ve had all of these reviews, and we’ve seen no material change. We need to get on with actually making a difference now.”

The minister for safeguarding, Rachel Maclean, said the government was committed to radically changing how violence against women and girls is tackled with a whole-system approach. She said the VAWG strategy published this summer set out “the government’s ambition to increase support for survivors, bring perpetrators to justice, and, ultimately, reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls.”


Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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Woman burns stepchildren’s hands for eating rice prepared for their father

The Adamawa State Police Command has arrested one Rachel Geoffrey, a 23-year-old woman and resident of Federal Housing Estate, Girei, for allegedly setting fire to the hands of her stepchildren.

The children, Genesis Geoffrey, seven years old: and Idadai Geoffrey, three years old, now have their affected hands bandaged.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, said in a statement that Rachel intentionally inflicted severe physical injuries on her stepchildren.

In the statement released Saturday, the police image maker said the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 14.

He said the children suffered several calculated acts of cruelty and human rights violations from their stepmother.

He explained that the children faced the wrath of the woman over a plate of rice she cooked and kept for her husband.

“The kids, because of hunger, ate their father’s food and that angered her. She then tied their hands with a handkerchief and set fire to them, resulting in the severe injuries they sustained,” Nguroje explained.

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