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Hull police boss urges men to step in when they see women being harassed

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Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison was stunned earlier this year to learn that 97% of women aged between 18 and 24 have been sexually harassed in public.

After asking his four daughters if it was true, he was told: "No, dad, it's not true. It's 100%"

Jonathan has been in the post only six months, but the issue of violence against women and girls in that time has soared to one of the biggest in public debate.

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With today marking International End Violence Against Women Day, the commissioner has now come out to address men who still refuse to engage in the discussion, telling those who say nothing that "you know it's wrong".

"We need men to be actively engaged in helping tackle this problem, as well as educate our young men," he told Hull Live.

"If somebody is saying something stupid or offensive, there are ways you can intervene as a friend without being directly confrontational. If it's a group of mates, don't be afraid to step in and say, 'don't be like that'.

"If you're on a train and see a woman being harassed by a man, don't be afraid to go up and ask her if she wants to swap seats with you."

PCC Jonathan Evison said responses to the consultation would be used to help draft Humberside Police's Police and Crime Plan. (Image: Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner)

He added: "It starts with misogyny, and that allows other things to become normalised, whether it's domestic abuse, or crimes like rape and murder."

"We're not overlooking men as victims, but obviously women are the worst affected by this," added Jonathan.

"It's time to say 'enough is enough'."

Approximately £2m has been invested in partnerships with other authorities in Humberside to tackle male violence against women, while Jonathan is now spearheading a survey drawn up to ask women aged 16 and over in Hull and East Yorkshire on how safe they feel.

"We want to find out where women feel unsafe, and what we can do to improve that," he said.

"As well as installing more CCTV and better lighting, we can also look at cutting back undergrowth and installing barriers.

"Right now we have a generational opportunity to make a change."

Confidence in police among women and girls has plummeted in recent months following the murder of Sarah Everard, as well as findings from the IOPC that the Met Police failed sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry who were murdered in June 2020.

Sarah Everard was murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens. (Image: PA)

"For every bad story, there are thousand good stories," Jonathan said regarding the police.

"There are some horrible people out there, and sadly some of those want to go into the police, but there are strong vetting efforts to stop that.

"We have to work together to solve it - it's frustrating that I can't wave a magic wand and do so.

"And to the men who perpetrate the problem by standing by and not saying anything - you know it's wrong. Call it out. Make a difference and together we are on our way to solving it."

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