White Ribbon Accreditation
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN) was awarded White Ribbon Accreditation on 25 November 2022.
The announcement came on White Ribbon Day, when men and boys across the UK are encouraged to make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.
All organisations, large or small can become White Ribbon UK Accredited and as a team, we were keen to join partners across the country in highlighting a continued commitment to ending violence against women and girls.
While the OPCCN is a relatively small organisation, we have a huge reach, overseeing the Norfolk Community Safety Partnership (NCSP), and aim to encourage other Norfolk partners to follow suit in becoming accredited.
Mark Stokes, Chief Executive of the OPCCN and Chair of the *Norfolk Community Safety Partnership (NCSP), said: “As an office we already do so much work to tackle violence against women and girls, not least being the biggest funder of domestic abuse and sexual violence services locally and holding the police to account for their key role in responding to violence against women and girls.
“Becoming a White Ribbon accredited organisation seemed absolutely the right thing to do so myself and colleagues, can spread the message across Norfolk that violence against women and girls should not and will not be tolerated.”
Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie added: “I was keen that my office should achieve White Ribbon accreditation.
“My colleagues work daily with partners across the county to address violence against women and girls and this seems a natural step for the office to take.
“It is such a worthy and important thing to do and compliments the work being carried out under my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan which highlights VAWG as a priority.”
As an Accredited organisation, the OPCCN is developing a comprehensive action plan to address the cultures that lead to abuse and violence and promote gender equality.
A number of employees have already become White Ribbon Ambassadors or Champions to spread the message to more men and raise awareness within our local community.
White Ribbon is a global campaign that encourages people, and especially men and boys, to individually and collectively take action and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence. To wear a white ribbon is to promise to never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK, said: “White Ribbon Accredited organisations are able to make a real difference towards ending violence against women by promoting a culture of respect and equality, among their staff and wider communities.
“By raising awareness among employees, people can learn how to become allies and call out violent and abusive behaviour when they see it, at work and in the wider community.”
*The OPCCN was the first OPCC to take on the responsibility of managing a local community safety partnership.
Since taking this on, the NCSP has achieved a great deal in preventing violence against women and girls (VAWG), including securing £460,000 from the Home Office's Safer Street funding to support VAWG initiatives across the county. The team also provides a partnership space for responsible authorities to come together and collaborate in work to safeguard and prevent VAWG.