Senior police officers from India are touring England as part of a ground-breaking project aimed at improving access to justice for female victims of violence.
The project, led by Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice (HKC) and funded by the British High Commission in India, seeks to increase access to justice, rights and protection for female victims of violence in the states of Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab through the training of police officers and lawyers.
The innovative police training programme raises awareness and understanding of the barriers to justice for victims, with the aim of preventing victims from pulling out of the criminal justice system.
As part of the project, senior police officers from India have visited England on a week-long study tour to meet and share experiences with police forces in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and the Metropolitan Police.
The study tour met with a number of senior police and criminology experts across the week, including the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, Simon Cole, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force, Martin Hewitt, Metropolitan Police Borough Commander Parm Sandhu and policing expert and Professor of Criminology, Betsy Stanko OBE.
The week concluded with a visit to Southall Black Sisters, an organisation that provides support to BME women who are victims of domestic violence, with a presentation from founding member and director, Pragna Patel.
Dr Sunita Toor, principal lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam’s HKC, is leading the project Improving access to justice for women and girl victims of violence and organised the study visit which is focused on future police leaders of India and their leadership development.
Dr Toor said: “This intense study week - which takes the group away from their day-to-day duties - will hopefully provide some of India’s most senior police officers with the opportunity to think more holistically about their own working practices and begin to consider how they might adapt their own procedures to tackle this complex issue.
“The visit itself provides a fantastic platform to see first-hand how police forces in the UK deal with cases of violence against women and girls, and better understand the structure of our multi-agency relationships, as well obtained an insight into police leadership. The aim is to provide the eight Indian officers with time to reflect on their own leadership and be inspired to implement new ideas in their respective police areas in India. We want to encourage the delegates to be police leaders committed to delivering human rights for all.”