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Chair of Association of Police & Crime Commissioners speaks about tackling sexual harassment in schools

12th September 2016

The Chair of the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners, Vera Baird has today attended two important events in London about girls.

Commissioner Baird has joined Maria Miller MP and Lisa Nandy MP at the Plan UK event to launch the report on girls’ rights at the House of Commons.  The national report reflects on the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the world Leaders:  Violence, safety and digital health feature strongly in the report.  Prior to the PLAN UK launch, Mrs Baird will be supporting an event by the girl guides who are launching a report on Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence in Schools Report.

Commissioner Baird said ” Sexual harassment in schools is on the increase. Reported offences have so gone up that they average now about 10 a day and two thirds of the victims are girls. these are sexual harassment bullying and actual sexual assaults.

The Plan report in particular is clear that schools are not dealing with these events well. That is to the great disadvantage of young girls who are trying to develop their identity and self-esteem as it will be for boys who can also be victims.   There is a clear need for compulsory SRE in all schools, legislation needs to be passed to ensure all schools teach this subject effectively.  Young people need to have the confidence to report such crime and ensure that provision is in place to protect them against this endemic sexual exploitation.  This is something the government must address”.

Mrs Baird added “We don’t need a silver bullet, we need common sense.  We need to upskill teachers to ensure they know how to deal with such disclosures when they arise – four Parliamentary committees have examined the issues and recommended universal PSHE.  Now is the time to take action”