Met Police say new scheme will improve safety for women
The Met Police have announced a new scheme to improve safety for women in London.
Launched on International Women’s Day, the force’s new Walk & Talk initiative invites women to meet local officers to share their thoughts on security.
From March 8, women in all London boroughs can request to meet a local officer and discuss safety issues while walking around areas in which they feel vulnerable.
The Walk & Talk initiative is the brainchild of Acting Inspector Becky Perkins, based in Lambeth and Southwark.
Perkins wanted women in her area to feel confident and safe on the streets.
She enlisted 25 neighborhood constables to accompany women on patrols in the hope that by walking with them on their usual routes and hearing firsthand what their concerns were, the police would be able to act and respond. build trust.
Inspector Perkins is one of more than 16,000 women working for the Met.
Of these, nearly 10,000 are police officers, working in high-profile teams such as Safer Neighborhoods, Specialist Firearms Command, Violent Crime Task Force and new downtown teams.
According to the Met, one in three local agents is a woman.
Commander Helen Harper, Head of Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement for the Met, said: ‘We really listen to what women tell us about how safe they feel in London, and we work hard to improve their safety.
“We continue to build a Met that better represents the communities it serves by recruiting more female police officers.
“Now, more than ever, we need women who are passionate about helping others join the Met, to help us continue to be better.
“International Women’s Day is only 24 hours long, but the Met is committed to listening and acting on the needs of women inside and outside the Met every day of the year.”
Details of how to apply for a Walk & Talk can be found at www.met.police.uk and on posters appearing across London from today.
The force also celebrates its female staff and encourages women to consider careers with the Met.
A series of events take place throughout the week where women can learn more about a career in policing.
A group of women from the Met’s Outreach team – dedicated to recruiting police officers from more diverse communities – have teamed up with women from the London Ambulance Service and London Fire Department to host a live webinar.
The webinar will see the group talk about what it’s like to be a woman and to be on the front lines.
Two police officers from the Met’s Mounted Branch and an acting Detective Inspector who solves thefts in Enfield and Haringey are among the guest speakers and will be broadcast live from the Met stables at Great Scotland Yard.
They will discuss why they joined the Met, the realities of being a police officer and why they think it’s important for more women to join ‘the job’.
They will be joined by PC Emma Cross, a Hate Crimes and Women’s Engagement Officer for Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley.
Cross said: “I do a lot of my work on my own initiative and I take great pride in supporting vulnerable people. “With every person I speak to, my main goal is that they know they have been listened to and that we as an organization are transparent and caring.”
In Ireland today, the highest ranked female police officer in UK history, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, will deliver a keynote address at the annual conference of the International Association of Women Policewomen alongside some of her police counterparts.
Many other events are taking place across the Met, including the launch of the second phase of a joint reverse mentorship program with the Girls’ Network charity, which sees disadvantaged young women and girls coaching senior female police officers.
The Met lists the following as part of its range of employee benefits:
- Part-time work and flexible hours, including job sharing
- Met Baby, a dedicated support service for parents expecting or adopting a child and the Fertility Support Network for those undergoing fertility treatment
- A career development service offering under-represented employees personalized support to achieve their professional aspirations
- Specialized support groups for women, such as the Women’s Network and the Endometriosis Support Network
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