'Women are bottom of the policy pile': Jess Phillips MP reacts to watchdog report

19 September 2021, 21:59

By Tim Dodd

Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding Jess Phillips tells LBC that the "time is up" on not considering violence against women a "serious crime", as she reacted to a report which found preventing it should be considered as much of a priority as counter-terrorism.

The report, commissioned by Home Secretary Priti Patel in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard found "problems, unevenness and inconsistencies" in dealing with the "epidemic" of violence against female victims in the UK. 

Rachel Johnson said: "First of all, your reaction to Zoe Billingham's report?"

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Ms Phillips replied: "I was pleased to see what I have known from both the frontline and my political life to be the case. I was glad to see it written out so clearly and so decisively with such a clear action plan.

"Violence against women and girls is currently not even categorised as a serious crime, that have the same serious crime responses, which is [a] multiagency response.

"The report lays it out very clearly that that time is up now. We cannot, any longer, not consider the biggest type of violent crime to be a serious crime."

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Ms Phillips then explained that recommendations from the report don't have to be followed by the government, and that the government doesn't "care enough" due to the volume of cases.

"The volume stops policy makers in their tracks," Ms Phillips said.

"What always happens, is that because there are so many people that suffer from this, and there are so many perpetrators of this, when we ask for specific things like a register of perpetrators, that there is follow up on repeat offenders... The answer is always a few little pilots here and there."

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