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Portsmouth MP hosts roundtable with key local groups on curbing violence against women and girls

Stephen Morgan MP has hosted a roundtable discussion with key local groups to better understand wider concerns and challenges in tackling violence against women and girls.

Local councillors, women’s groups and key city organisations were invited to share their knowledge and experiences of violence against women and girls in Portsmouth, and what they believe needs to happen to curb the growing problem.

It comes following a spiking in one of the city’s bars and the dismissal of a Hampshire Constabulary police officer for pursuing a sexual relationship with a victim of domestic abuse.

The Portsmouth MP wrote the Home Secretary on Monday to request the case be included in her inquiry into the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens for Sarah Everard’s murder.

A disciplinary hearing ruled that the Hampshire Constabulary officer, referred to as ‘Officer A’, committed five breaches of regulations through his “inappropriate contact” with the victim. This is despite ‘Officer A’ being specially trained in domestic abuse and specifically assigned to the victim’s case.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“It’s vital that police services can command the confidence of the women and girls they serve, but recent events have undermined that.

“It was really useful to meet key local groups from our city to discuss practical steps to tackle the deeply concerning reports we’ve heard recently – whether that’s police conduct or the spate of nightclub spikings.

“Government needs to get to the bottom of this, and quickly. No matter where you live, or who you are, you should always feel safe to walk the streets you live on and secure in presence of a police officer.”