Police forces must “learn” from each other to improve their approach to dealing with violence against women, a Cabinet minister said on Friday after a watchdog report highlighted “differences” between how some forces approach the issue.
The comments come after a root-and-branch examination by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found “problems, unevenness and inconsistencies” in dealing with the “epidemic” of violence against female victims in the UK.
The inspection, sparked by the killing of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serving police officer, said police must prioritise protecting women as highly as counterterrorism.
It called for “fundamental crosssystem change”, including a “radical refocus” on crimes that disproportionately affect female victims including domestic abuse, rape, sexual grooming and stalking.
The report highlighted how an “eye-watering” number of crimes are closed early without anyone being charged.
Speaking to Sky News, Environment Secretary George Eustice said this morning: “Obviously (Home Secretary) Priti Patel will now look at these recommendations but I think this report does highlight some differences between police forces.
“What we really need to do is learn from those police forces that are addressing this well and actually try and replicate those approaches that work in parts of the country.”
Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones said the police watchdog report into violence against women shows “we are failing women”. The Labour MP told Sky News: “The report highlights that this hasn’t been a priority.”