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18th March is National Child Exploitation Awareness Day

visit their website CLICK HERE

The National Child Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children exploiting and abusing their peers.

NWG are committed to the fight against CSE & CE and supporting victims and their families who are subjected to child exploitation. But they cannot succeed without the support of people like you. 

Together, we can work to inform, educate and prevent child abuse within the UK.

YOU CAN HELP TO GIVE VICTIMS A VOICE.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT ON SOCIAL MEDIA USE #HELPINGHANDS AND #CEADAY21. IF YOU CAN, PLEASE MAKE A DONATION IN SUPPORT OF OUR WORK.

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Tackling violence against women a priority despite criticism

Source: BBC

Priti Patel has insisted the government is committed “at the highest level” to tackling violence against women following the death of Sarah Everard.

The home secretary also confirmed she had ordered a review after criticism of police actions at a vigil for Ms Everard.

Following her statement, MPs began debating a crime bill which changes how the police can manage such events.

Labour says the new law “does nothing to help women feel safer”.

The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill covers major government proposals on crime and justice.

Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds argued that the bill was more focused on increasing sentences for those who damage memorials than protecting women.

But Ms Patel said it was “completely wrong” of opposition MPs to suggest the proposed law would do nothing for women arguing it would “end the halfway release of those convicted for sexual offences such as rape”.

Meanwhile, the government announced it would put more money into the Safer Streets Fund which it said could be used for better street lighting and more CCTV.

The government says its Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill would allow police to “impose conditions such as start and finish times and maximum noise levels on static protests” of whatever size.

Ms Patel said allowing police to put conditions on protests had become necessary due to a “significant change in tactics” by protestors which “had led to a disproportionate amount of disruption” such as blocking ambulances on emergency calls and people gluing themselves to rush hour trains.

Criticism over how the police handled the vigil for Ms Everard has thrown a spotlight on some of the measures in the bill and Labour has now said it will oppose it.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said the bill contained “poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression”.

He said the scenes from the Sarah Everard vigil on Clapham Common on Saturday were a “red warning light” to ministers that they “should not be rushing through laws cracking down on protest”.

The Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said the bill was “shocking” and contained “offensive anti-democratic proposals”.

The bill would also double the maximum penalty for assaults on emergency workers from 12 months to two years and introduce a measure known as ‘Kay’s Law’.

Kay’s Law introduces a change to the bail system, so individuals are not held on bail for unreasonable lengths of time, while enabling police to impose strict conditions on more suspects in cases such as domestic abuse.

It is named in memory of Kay Richardson, who was murdered by her ex-partner following his release under investigation.

Stalking measures

Meanwhile in the House of Lords, the government has been defeated over its Domestic Abuse Bill.

In spite of government opposition, peers backed a change to the bill that would ensure migrant women, who are the victim of domestic abuse, have a route to be able to legally remain in the UK.

They also backed a call for tougher supervision and monitoring of serial domestic abuse and stalking perpetrators, demanding the creation of a register of perpetrators.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ms Patel and Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick attended a crime and justice taskforce to discuss ways to protect women and girls from violence.

Following the meeting, the government has pledged a doubling of the funding for the Safer Streets Fund which provides neighbourhood measures such as better lighting and CCTV.

The Home Office has confirmed this brings the funding for local projects to a total of £45 million.

Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse will also hold a summit in the coming weeks with police and industry representatives from the night-time economy on preparations to protect women as pandemic restrictions lift.

Responding to the announcement, the Reclaim These Streets group – which had wanted to set up a legal vigil for Sarah Everard – welcomed the money but added: “We don’t believe that funding alone creates the structural changes we’ve talked about… women won’t be able to trust that they are safe until misogyny and racism are tackled at an institutional level within government, police and the criminal justice system.”

Analysis box by Jonathan Blake, political correspondent

Even before the killing of Sarah Everard, the government’s planned changes to policing and the criminal justice system had proved controversial.

But the events of this weekend have heightened the debate about the policing of public gatherings and whether the criminal justice system does enough to protect women and punish men for violent crimes.

It’s a coincidence that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is being introduced this week but there’s no doubt its passage through parliament will be influenced by recent events.

Labour is attempting to seize on the issue, opposing the bill having previously planned to abstain.

But so far there is no indication the government is ready to allow changes to, for example, make misogyny a hate crime or include measures to tackle street harassment, focusing instead on a strategy due to be published later this year.

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Sarah Everard: New safety measures after killing

Source: BBC

New safety measures after killing “Immediate steps” aimed at improving safety for women and girls in England and Wales have been announced by No 10 after Sarah Everard’s death.

Among them is an additional £25m for better lighting and CCTV as well as a pilot scheme which would see plain-clothes officers in pubs and clubs.

Campaigners say the money is not enough and called for institutional changes.

Labour said meaningful changes to law are needed rather than plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans”.

It comes after hundreds of people protested in central London on Monday.

Ms Everard went missing while walking home from a friend’s house on 3 March.

Her body was later found in woodland in Kent and Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, has been charged with the 33-year-old marketing executive’s kidnap and murder.

Following a meeting of the government’s Crime and Justice Taskforce on Monday evening, Downing Street said it would take “immediate steps” to give “further reassurance” to women and girls in the wake of the killing of Ms Everard.

No 10 said it would double the size of the Safer Streets fund – which provides local measures such as better lighting and CCTV – to £45m.

Undercover police will be sent to clubs, bars and popular nightspots to relay intelligence about predatory or suspicious offenders to uniformed officers, in pilots of so-called Project Vigilant, rolled out across the country.

Safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins said undercover officers working in the night-time economy would feed intelligence to uniformed officers.

She said the government would work with businesses and police to ensure, as the industry reopened following the coronavirus lockdown, “that women can feel safe in our streets”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who chaired the meeting – said the government was bringing in “landmark legislation” to toughen up sentences and put more police on streets.

He said: “Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them.”

‘Caught on the hop’

But Labour’s shadow domestic violence minister Jess Phillips told BBC Breakfast that in her years of experience, she had not come across experts or victims calling for more CCTV in public spaces.

She accused ministers of being “caught on the hop” and rolling out plans involving “police officers in skinny jeans” rather than meaningful changes to legislation regarding street harassment, or a detailed review of how rape is prosecuted in England and Wales.

The shadow home secretary, Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds, said the measures were “nowhere near good enough” and called for “urgent action” on issues like harassment of women, domestic homicide sentencing and more support for victims of rape.

Labour MP Stella Creasy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme more funding for better street lighting was not unwelcome, but “it really just doesn’t understand what the issues are”. She said measures focused on policing nightspots do not recognise “that women get abused, assaulted and intimidated in all sorts of places”.

Dr Ellie Cosgrave, a lecturer in urban innovation and policy at University College London, said it was right that the government consider lighting as a way to help make cities safer, but added: “You can’t just shove a light in and hope that the public space will be better.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour that “over-lighting” some areas in a city can make other areas feel less safe.

Dr Cosgrave said the best action ministers can take to make cities safer is to understand the “social dynamics” of an area by conducting surveys, speaking to people, and implementing change based on what they say.

‘Structural changes’

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Breakfast it was good news that more women were feeling more confident to report rape allegations, but he added “we still haven’t done well enough to get the evidence that can secure convictions”.

A spokeswoman for organisation Reclaim These Streets said it welcomed additional funding but did not believe funding alone would create the structural changes which were “so important”.

“Women won’t be able to trust that they are safe until misogyny and racism are tackled at an institutional level within government, police and the criminal justice system,” she said.https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.39.19/iframe.htmlmedia captionDania Al-Obeid: “All I wanted was to stand with other women”

Home Secretary Priti Patel had warned against holding vigils, and has launched a review into the policing of a gathering over the weekend in south London in memory of Ms Everard.

During that event, officers handcuffed and removed several women after crowds gathered on Clapham Common to lay flowers and pay their respects.

On Monday, hundreds marched across central London in what was said to be a meeting by Sisters Uncut, which describes itself as an “intersectional feminist direct-action collective”, with many of those in attendance carrying placards.

Four people were arrested – three on suspicion of breaching coronavirus regulations and a fourth on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. A further two people were issued with fixed penalty notices, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protests will be able to legally resume on 29 March, when the coronavirus “stay at home” order lifts in England.

The prime minister’s spokesman said demonstrations will continue to be subject to Covid-secure precautions such as appropriate measures to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, MPs will continue debating the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill later, which would change how protests are managed, including allowing police to impose conditions such as start and finish times.

Labour has criticised the bill saying it did “nothing to help women feel safer”, and imposed “disproportionate” controls on freedom of speech.

Ms Patel said the bill would end the halfway release of those convicted of sexual offences such as rape and also said the Domestic Abuse bill was on track to receive royal assent by the end of April, which she said would “transform our collective response to this abhorrent crime”.