“As further updates emerge around the misconduct allegations levelled at officers within Gwent Police, we are growing increasingly concerned that measures put in place to address this fall far short of being able to bring about the changes that are so urgently needed.
Reading the testimonies of the family of Ricky Jones, we are disappointed that survivors of domestic abuse are not being listened to by Gwent Police.
We fully support the family in their quest for justice and reform and we add our voice to calls for a full independent investigation into misconduct allegations at Gwent Police. It is only with impartial and thorough scrutiny that we can hope to see any real culture change across the Force, and for trust to be built.
Sadly, we know that this is not an isolated case – a culture of misogyny, racism, bullying and corruption is rife within Forces across the UK.
Endemic misogyny, racism, survivors not being believed, a culture of belittling traumatising experiences and rates of charges against perpetrators remaining woefully low – these are some of the very reasons that the vast majority of women choose not to report male violence and abuse to the Police when it happens to them.
Despite attempts to address this situation by Gwent Police, women have always known that this was never about the ‘odd bad apple’. There is evidenced institutional misogyny and widespread exploitation of a position of power within the Police and we need to see independent scrutiny, measurable accountability and root-and-branch reform to put an end to this once and for all.
Women in Wales need to see Gwent Police, and indeed all Police Forces across the country, initiate a complete culture change which places respect for women as a top priority.
On behalf of the 1 in 3 women who will experience male violence in their lifetime, we are calling on Gwent Police and all Police Forces in Wales to listen to women. Believe women. Show respect and empathy as a minimum.
Nobody should be exempt from consequence, especially those who proclaim to champion and uphold ‘The Rule of Law’. Trust will only be built with full transparency that leads to demonstrable, sustainable change. Women, and especially survivors of male violence, should not only feel confident in reporting, they should feel fully supported and empowered by the process. This is the change we expect to see across all Forces and Constabularies.
Anyone experiencing male violence or abuse, or those concerned about somebody at risk of male violence – support is available to you now. Live Fear Free is a confidential and independent helpline that can provide advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 0808 80 10 800 / text 07860077333 / email [email protected].”
For more information, please contact Sophie Weeks, Head of Public Affairs and Communications on