Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to tackling violence against women and girls and with this in mind, the Abbots Langley Safer Neighbourhood Team partnered with Abbots Langley Parish Council and Three Rivers District Council, to run a number of personal safety sessions to women in the local area aged 18 and above.
Since mid-May, they have run six sessions, teaching around 100 women and girls confidence techniques and simple self-defence techniques, with demonstrations from a martial arts instructor, who has a black-belt in taekwondo.
The sessions were free of charge, and offered both crime prevention advice alongside practical session, which touched on increasing confidence, distraction techniques, self-awareness skills and self-defence tactics.
The last session, which took place on Tuesday, June 28, was an extended three-hour long demonstration with a number of nurses from the mental health charity Mind.
Sergeant Jon Brown, from the Abbots Langley Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Tackling male violence against women and girls is a top priority for us in Hertfordshire, and it is important to note that we already have referral schemes in place in Hertfordshire to educate and rehabilitate those who commit violence against women and girls, and we continue to look for further opportunities to address and prevent perpetrator behaviour and offending.
“The purpose of these sessions in particular was to help instil confidence in women and girls in our community, through both practical and interactive learning and demonstrations. We had great feedback from those in attendance, and we’re hoping that we will be able to conduct further sessions across the county in the coming months.
“While we strongly believe that the focus should be on potential perpetrators, the police still have a duty to keep people safe and it is, therefore, important to share key advice as we have always done. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight Hollie Guard, a free personal safety app that you can download to your mobile phone via the App Store. This app can notify chosen contacts when you may be in danger, pinpointing your location and also sending audio and video footage.”