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In a bid to make the streets of Bradford safer, police have been fining men who have been caught cat-calling women from their cars.
The unpleasant reality of cat-calling many women are taught to simply ignore is the subject of a new Public Space Protection Order from Bradford Council, and it's certainly about time.
The initiative is the first of its kind and has seen police deployed to patrol the city's streets over the last six months, following reports in December 2021 of women being harassed around the campus of the University of Bradford.
21 people have been fined since the launch of the landmark initiative.
And speaking of the move to ITV, Tanya Wilkins - Detective Superintendent for Bradford District Police - said: "Women should be able to walk the streets without inappropriate comments being made by men and what I also find is that this inappropriate behaviour can sometimes be a catalyst for other serious offences against women."
Wilkins went on to say: "This is not just a Bradford thing, this is a national problem.
"My aim is that other forces will look at what we’re doing as we are leading the way and I want other forces to share our knowledge so that hopefully this can have this country-wide, which will increase public confidence and raise awareness to men that this is inappropriate behaviour and it will be dealt with."
The move was welcomed by local students, such as Meg Henderson, an LGBTQ+ officer at the university, who explained to Yorkshire Live the anti-social behaviour that was being experienced in the area: "Most of the time it's catcalling out of a moving or a parked car where they themselves probably feel safe to do this act and know they can get away with it as there is a barrier between them and the person they're throwing their abuse at.
"Furthermore, some people have reported that they've been followed until they've called someone or dashed into a building."
Henderson went on to add that the behaviour was 'malicious' and an 'infringement' on the rights of the person being cat-called.
Not to mention it's incredibly uncomfortable.
Speaking of the new initiative, Henderson went on to say: "I believe that the initiative the West Yorkshire Police have started putting into place, of female plain-clothed officers walking together, will start to make a good impact and hopefully catch some of the people carrying out this abuse."
Here's hoping more areas around the UK adopt similar policies soon.
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