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Combating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

The VAWG Taskforce Report, released on the 2 November 2023, details the findings of the independent taskforce, launched in 2022 to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Jersey. The States of Jersey Police acknowledge this report and accept the recommendations relevant to policing. We (SoJP) stand committed to addressing VAWG and continuously improving our ability to further build victim trust and confidence, pursue offenders and make Jersey an even safer place for everyone.

The VAWG Taskforce Report serves as an invaluable resource in our ongoing efforts to combat violence against women and girls and continually improve police services in Jersey. We extend our gratitude to all the respondents participating in this initiative – your voices are instrumental in shaping our approach and driving positive change. 

As a testament of how seriously we treat VAWG, we have already incorporated the Taskforce Report recommendations into our own strategy and comprehensive action plan. Recognising that actions speak louder than words, key initiatives and accomplishments that have already been established include: seeking early legal / investigative advice, enhancing the scrutiny of challenging investigations, promoting offender centric investigations, an uplift in training, development of new policies and introducing victim information booklets. 

The investment and uplift in training has included the following: 

  • Trauma Awareness and Informed Approach to Victims of Sexual Offences training for officers, front line staff and support staff.
  • Joint case investigation and presentation training for police with the Law Officer’s Department (LOD).
  • Sexual Offences Liaison Officer training for uniformed officers.
  • Specialist Sexual Assault Investigation Development training for detectives.
  • Special Measures and Pre-trial therapy training for police with the Law Officer’s Department (LOD).

SoJP believe that this investment in training, policies and processes has already contributed to the improvement of reporting, quality of investigations, increase in charging and positive Court outcomes. Jersey has already seen 66% of convictions secured in the first half of this year, with four out of the six cases in court resulting in guilty verdicts. 

In addition to our efforts to improve our services, we have looked within the Force, accepting that we must live up to the high standards that we set our officers and staff. A Conflict of Interest and other policies have been developed to aid victim confidence and safe reporting, along with a recent internal survey conducted to obtain staff feedback about sexual harassment in the workplace, the findings of which are pending and will be incorporated in our plans.

We acknowledge that there is still work to be done, but we are steadfast in our determination to tackle violence against women and girls. This will be a key priority in the 2024 Policing Plan as it was in the 2023 Policing Plan.

Chief Officer Robin Smith said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the report and accept the recommendations. We are committed to fostering a safer and more inclusive community for all islanders. Whilst many of the recommendations here have been or are in the process of being actioned, we recognise the importance of constantly striving to improve our service to victims and witnesses. We have made great strides in recent years and I’m confident that we are moving in the right direction.” 

We encourage victims of VAWG to come forward and seek help from SoJP or the support services available. Together, we can create a community where every individual can live without fear of violence.

 

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