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Combating violence against women in the UK

Women and girls should be given extra confidence by police officers to ensure that they should not lack confidence and report incidents of domestic violence with full confidence
Barrister M. A. Muid Khan
Combating violence against women in the UK

Prologue
“It is abhorrent that a serving police officer was able to abuse his position of power, authority and trust to commit such a horrific crime. The public have a right to know what systematic failures enabled his continued employment as a police officer.

We need answers as to why this was allowed to happen,” (Priti Patel, Home Secretary, Conservative Party Conference, 5th September 2021, London, UK)


Two recent heart breaking violence against women in the UK shocked the whole nation. Both incidents demonstrate very clearly that the police are not able to tackle violence against women in the UK.

First incident

On 3rd March 2021, in the evening of 3 March 2021, Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old was kidnapped in the evening in South London when she was walking home to the Brixton Hill area. Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan Police Officer arrested her with a false warrant of arrest under the pretence of having breached COVID-19 regulations. He then drove her to Dover, raped and strangled her. Then he burnt her body and disposed of her remains in a nearby pond. On 10th March 2021, remains were discovered in woodland near Ashford, Kent on 10 March following their identification. The killer police officer was charged with her kidnap and murder.

Second incident

In the second incident, the victim was a 28 years old British Bengali primary school teacher. In September 2021, the dead body of Sabina, was discovered hidden under a pile of leaves by a dog walker in a park South East London. The police believe that Sabina was attacked at 8.30pm on Friday, September 17, 2021, when the park was likely to be full of joggers and dog walkers.

Both incidents shocked the whole nation and the world. In the first incident a serving police officer in the Metropolitan police used his powers to kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard whereas in the first incident Sabina was murdered by a stranger at her local park. It is clear from the above two incidents that the police forces in the UK are not able to deliver all of the necessary protections for women and girls.  

A freedom of information request showed that more than half of met officers found guilty of sexual misconduct over a four-year period to 2020 kept their jobs, a total of 43 officers out of 83. In a report published by BBC News (September 2020), it was confirmed that the year to March 2020, 207 women were killed in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). This means about one in four killings was of women. In the past decade, there were 4,493 male victims of killings and 2,075 female victims (31%) in England and Wales. More than nine out of 10 killers were men. About 57% of female victims were killed by someone they knew, most commonly a partner or ex-partner. This compares with 39% of men.

Due to the on-going unstoppable violence against women, the government and its agencies are facing hard questions about what is being done to tackle men’s violence against women. These murder cases demonstrate that the current measures and law is not strong enough to stop this violence against women.

With a view to combatting violence against women, I am proposing the following measures to stop violence against women in the UK: firstly, an exemplary punishment (unusually harsh) and is intended to stop other people from committing similar crimes; should be given to the perpetrators so that would be future criminal would think twice before using violence against women.

Secondly, local authority should invest adequate funds to install better street lights/lightings/more streetlights in the local streets, to ensure safety of the streets.

Thirdly, extra police officers should be appointed focusing investigations on suspects and complainants’ credibility to avoid miscarriage of justice based on false allegations

Fourthly, undercover police officers should be appointed in pubs and bars to protect our girls.


Fifthly, more CCTV cameras should be installed by the local authorities to catch the criminals and bring them before justice.

Sixthly, local people should be allowed to report areas where they feel unsafe. Local authorities should take steps immediately to make those palaces safe

Seventhly, women and girls should be given extra confidence by police officers to ensure that they should not lack confidence and report incidents of domestic violence with full confidence

Eighty, the police should take sexual harassment and abuse in higher education very seriously and perpetrators should be brought before justice with full forces of law.  

Ninthly, the police and government should not put the onus on women to keep themselves safe. They should take effective steps to deter violence against women

Finally, the government should introduce a national communications campaign to tackle violence against women and girls addressing all the structural issues around men’s violence towards women.

Epilogue

It is very unfortunate that the women and girls across the country are discovering that if they are raped, there is very little chance of the man who raped them ever being brought to justice. The catastrophic drop in rape prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service requires immediate action to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime before justice with the full force of law. No one should be placed above the law. The police officers must adhere to the highest possible standards showing respect to the Rule of Law. They must root out those who abuse their trusted position as officers. In addition, media, public awareness and changing society's perspective on violence against women are also very important in combating violence against women and girls.

The writer is a barrister living in UK. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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