Assistant Chief Constable Peter Ayling (pictured above) will be coming to Tunbridge Wells to discuss physical abuse towards females.
The meeting will run from 6pm until 8pm and will be held at Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School. It will consist of presentations as well as opportunities for the audience to ask questions and give feedback.
A number of local groups and organisations will be in attendance such as women’s charity DAVSS which supports victims suffering from domestic abuse in West Kent.
The meeting comes after a number of highprofile incidents involving violence against women such as the recent murder of Sarah Everard by former police officer Wayne Couzens. Kent’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley, explaining the purpose of the meeting, said: “Recent high-profile cases have led to a renewed focus on tackling violence against women and girls.
“However, it is important to remember that this is sadly not a new phenomenon and is something we at Kent Police have always taken very seriously”
He added: “Violence against women and girls covers many different crime types including domestic abuse, rape and other serious sexual offences, stalking, honour-based abuse and exploitation, and we have comprehensive plans in place to deliver the best possible service for victims.
“Whilst my officers work very hard to ensure Kent is a safe place to live, work and visit, it is understandable that members of the public and women and girls in particular may feel unsafe in certain locations and at certain times of the day or night.
“That is why each of our 13 policing districts have dedicated Community Safety Units consisting of officers and staff who work to prevent and deter criminal activity in public places, such as through licensing officers who help to improve safety in pubs, clubs and bars.”
Since March 2020, when coronavirus first struck the UK, Kent Police has seen nearly a ten per cent rise in incidents of domestic violence, with 3,233 more victims coming forward than in the previous year.
The force handled nearly 36,000 reports in 2020 compared to just over 32,000 in 2019.
ASK FOR ANGELA IF YOU’RE AFRAID
KENT Police has launched a scheme to encourage women who feel threatened and need help when in licensed premises to ‘Ask for Angela’ as a way of alerting members of staff.
The scheme conducted in conjunction with licensed premises across Tunbridge Wells and the rest of the county allows women feeling afraid to inform the police using a code word.
Kent’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley explained how the scheme worked.
He said: “We support and promote the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme where women can discreetly alert staff at licensed premises by asking to speak to Angela. “We are also involved in a number of ongoing community projects that will help to reduce instances of violence against women and girls such as providing an increased police presence in those areas of Kent that are particularly popular for their pubs, clubs and bars.
“Tackling violence against women and girls is a shared responsibility and we therefore look forward to working with the Police and Crime Commissioner to translate the Government’s recently published national strategy into an improved offer of support for victims here in Kent.