Men shouldn't be asked to stay inside to keep women safe, David Lammy tells LBC

29 September 2021, 10:20 | Updated: 29 September 2021, 11:42

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy told LBC today that men should not be asked to stay inside to keep women safe, but admitted the problem of violence against woman "is with the men and there are changes in society the we need".

The Labour MP was asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari about a suggestion Dame Vera Baird, the Victims' Commissioner for England and Wales, that men could be asked to stay off local streets if a murderer is on the loose.

Dame Vera made the proposal at a Labour Party conference fringe event this week.

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In response, Mr Lammy said: "I'm surprised to hear that one. I don't quite know how that works I've got to say, that's not currently Labour Party policy."

But he added: "It is right that the problem of violence against women and girls is not with the women themselves, we shouldn't blame the women or ask the women to start doing karate classes or to start changing their behaviour when they go into a restaurant or pub or when they're walking through a park.

"The problem is with the men and there are changes in society that we need with men. I'm not sure how practically it works to ask men to stay off the streets when in all families across the country people have got to go to work, people take their kids to school, all sorts of things so I don't know how practically that would work or serious a proposal it is."

Barrister Dr Charlotte Proudman said the suggestion "makes a damned change from women staying at home" and added the fact it was being argued for shows "the prevalence of violence against women and girls".

She told Nick: "Why are we telling women that that they should be at home at 8pm, that there be a curfew, why are we telling women that they need to carry panic alarms, why is the onus only on victims and never on perpetrators... and most of those perpetrators unfortunately Nick are men."

She added: "I was astounded when the police suggested women should stay indoors... that kind of narrative is appalling."

She continued: "What the police are doing is just not enough, it is rotten to the core the police system in failing women and girls, when it gets to the point in 2021 where the police are saying you need to stay at home, that to me suggests there's something really worrying that is going on on the streets."

Mr Lammy also told LBC: "We've had a very serious set of incidents this year with the murder of Sarah Everard, the murder last week of that wonderful young woman just going to the pub and so I did raise issues around violence against women and girls and set out what Labour would do, we would do.

"We've said we would increase minimum sentences for rape, we've said that if you kidnap and abduct and woman, murder her you should get life and I can't believe you didn't get life until we were proposing it, we've raised issues with street harassment, all of that leads of a safer place for women."