News | Press Release

15 December 2023

Refuge responds to the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan’

Responding to the Metropolitan Police’s ‘Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan’ Refuge Interim CEO Ellen Miller, said: 

“We are pleased to see the Metropolitan Police finally acknowledge the cultural issue of misogyny within the force, something Refuge have long challenged and campaigned to change. At long last the focus has moved from denial of this issue and now we would like to see the rebuilding of women and girls’ trust and confidence in reporting crimes committed against them, including domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) which are deeply rooted in this misogyny.  

As the Baroness Casey Review published earlier this year evidenced, this issue is systemic within the Met and is an institutional problem. Police responses to violence against women and girls (VAWG) cannot be improved until perpetrators within the force are rooted out and cultural change to eradicate misogyny within the force is completed.  

It’s important that the Met are listening and pledging to make essential progress, but we must see rapid action. We look forward to continuing to work with the Metropolitan Police, holding them to account to ensure women and girls are better protected from male violence.  

The Metropolitan Police has become notorious for many high-profile cases of violence against women and girls, but sadly we know the failures within policing are on a national scale. 

Refuge’s ‘Remove the Rot’ campaign calls on the Home Secretary to implement a consistent suspension policy, where police officers and staff accused of VAWG are suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, across all police forces in England and Wales. Time and time again the Government have stated VAWG is a national strategic priority, this must include rooting out corrupt and predatory officers.  

We must see the suspension of all police officers and staff accused of violence against women and girls pending the outcome of an investigation, only then will survivors of these crimes feel confident that adequate action to protect women and girls is being done, not just words on paper.” 

Read the Met’s full strategy here.