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Lancashire Police launch Preston Women's Engagement Forum

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Police in Preston are joining forces with partner agencies to organise a series of Women’s Engagement Events.

The aim is to create a space for women to come together, share their experiences, seek advice on personal safety and break down barriers, ensuring that all voices are heard and fostering trust and confidence within the local community.

During the first event, which took place on Friday 2nd February, women from different community groups across Preston were invited to join female officers and detectives, including Chief Superintendent Stasia Osiowy and Chief Inspector Julie Rawsthorne.

The group listened to inputs from a range of services such as Lancashire County Council’s Refugee Integration Team and the Lancashire Special Constabulary, of which 35% are female.

They also discussed topics like domestic abuse and how to seek help and the challenges of policing as a woman and a mother.

Furthermore, there was an opportunity for people to attend stands from Lancashire Constabulary’s Recruitment Team to talk about different routes into Policing and the different types of roles available, the Cyber Crime Unit which provided information and advice on how to stay secure online and ‘Release’, a support service in Preston for adults affected by child sexual abuse.

Julie Rawsthorne, Preston Neighbourhood Policing Chief Inspector, said: “These events are crucial in allowing us to listen and understand what really impacts on women and girls in Preston and gives us an opportunity to discuss how we can work together to make our city a safe and welcoming place for all women.

“We will continue to work with the local community and our partners to ensure that all voices are heard and equally represented across our community and that we know what the concerns are so that we can work to address them.’

Through funding provided by Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC), attendees were offered a series of crime prevention materials including webcam covers.

Al Yusuf, LANPAC Manager said: “This was an excellent event sharing lived experiences of officers as well as females from the Preston area.

“LANPAC was delighted to support and be part of this event in embracing and empowering women from the community.”

It is hoped that these events will provide an invaluable opportunity for women in the community to connect with their local Police, voice their concerns, seek advice, and contribute to the ongoing efforts to ensure their safety.