Special Police Patrols Underway To Stop Women Being Harassed In Huddersfield
Thursday 30 November 2023
Plain clothes police have begun special patrols to catch those harassing or causing distress to women enjoying a night out in Huddersfield.
Officers from the Huddersfield Town Centre Team and colleagues including Special Constables have begun a new ‘covert’ operation to protect females enjoying a night out in the run to Christmas, and catch those committing criminal offences.
The patrols began on November 25 as part of the force’s commitment to support White Ribbon Day which raises awareness of gender based violence.
During the first weekend’s operation, officers stopped and dealt with two males in a car for cat calling and drugs offences, and helped eight lone women either to taxi ranks or home.
Four licensing visits were also conducted by uniformed officers, and police also checked door staff and taxi drivers.
The operation was just part of a plethora of ongoing work to reduce violence against women and vulnerable females in Kirklees.
Ongoing safety initiatives include the Night Safety Bus which continues to be deployed on within Huddersfield town centre on busy evenings.
Its team of trained staff from Change Grow Live’s CHART Kirklees drug and alcohol service and Locala help people report sexual harassment and provide a safe space on a night out if someone is feeling threatened.
The Ask for Angela Scheme, through which women who feel at risk can ask trained bar staff for assistance, also continues to operate in venues in the town.
Other support for White Ribbon Day in Kirklees included officers setting up engagement stalls in bus stations and at the University of Huddersfield at which they were available to discuss issues of concern with women and provide advice.
Sergeant Toni Ramsden of the Huddersfield Town Centre Team, said: “Police take all reports of violence against women and related offences such as harassment very seriously, and believe women should feel safe to walk our streets.
“Harassment of women and girls in any way is unacceptable and through these new patrols we have been looking to utilise necessary Police and Partnership powers to positively tackle any issues identified at an early stage.
“What we very much want to do is create an atmosphere and culture in Huddersfield in which the harassment of women is seen as unacceptable and in which females can come out and know they will be able to enjoy a night free of unwanted comments and behaviours.
Inspector Mark Pattinson of Kirklees District Police, added: “We have been pleased to support White Ribbon Day in Kirklees as part of our ongoing commitment to improve the safety of women and girls.
“White Ribbon Day itself is intended to raise awareness of violence against females, and we made use of the event to also host a number of advice stalls at which females could attend for advice and support regarding how to report all forms of violence against women.
“Measures such as the night safety bus, ongoing licensing visits and extra patrols are all of course also continuing to help people feel safer, prevent offending, and also encourage reporting of crime which does occur.”