2 October, 2021

Statement from Philip Allott

I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology for my comments on BBC Radio York on Friday 1 October, which I realise were both misconceived and insensitive and have caused upset and distress. I have withdrawn the remarks.

Clearly, I have much to learn, so as well as committing to working ever more closely with subject-matter expert colleagues in my own organisation and beyond, I will be seeking meetings as soon as possible with local partner organisations across North Yorkshire and the City of York that provide services to tackle male violence against women and girls, in order to deliver on their concerns and broaden my understanding of the issues.

I also pay tribute to the ongoing work by North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and the Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner to keep North Yorkshire and the City of York safe and to support and protect victims and the vulnerable.

I was elected to this role to help keep our communities safe. I have made addressing violence against women and girls across North Yorkshire and the City of York one of the key priorities in my forthcoming Police & Crime Plan. I would like to offer reassurance to our communities about the steps already being taken and the work underway. This includes:

  • Over 1,000 North Yorkshire Police officers having undertaken the ‘domestic abuse matters’ training programme in 2021 to improve their understanding of and response to domestic incidents.
  • Nearly 100 domestic abuse champions have been created with further specialist training to improve identification and enhance safeguarding measures for victims.
  • 20 of these officers now leading continual ‘domestic abuse matters’ training with others to ensure long-term sustainable improvements.
  • Developing a whole family approach to supporting domestic abuse survivors to ensure there is a holistic package of support for those impacted bringing in support from different organisations, partners and charities.
  • Jointly commissioning Sexual Assault Referral Centre services for any victims of rape, sexual assault or abuse.
  • Commissioning Independent Sexual Violence Adviser services to support victims and survivors of sexual violence or abuse, including historical abuse, whether reported to the police or not.
  • I am also working hard to support North Yorkshire Police to reach parity of gender representation in its workforce, through recruitment and retention. The Force currently has 587 serving female police officers and 987 female staff, volunteers and special constables supporting Lisa Winward, North Yorkshire’s inspirational Chief Constable.
  • I also support the Chief Constable in her commitment to promoting the very highest standards of police professionalism and integrity within North Yorkshire Police.

I hope that all those reading this statement will accept my apology and the commitment I have given to my own learning – and to driving forward positive progress in keeping our communities safe.

Philip Allott
02 October 2021