Vulnerability Awareness was identified as a key area early in the Violence Reduction project. This training looks at the identification of potential victims as well as identification of sexual predators within a specific setting.
The night time economy can present opportunities for sexual predators to take advantage of increased levels of vulnerability, caused through alcohol and other factors. There is evidence from analysis of the data in South Wales to suggest some Sexual Violence is related to the Night Time Economy and following a benchmarking visit to Newcastle we adopted a vulnerability training package for South Wales.
The training equips those working within the night time economy with the necessary tools to identify vulnerability and sexual predators, and, crucially, to act upon that identification to prevent and intervene at an earlier stage. If this is done correctly, there are significant cost savings to be made across all partners agencies, as well as reassuring the public that town centres are safe places to visit, thus ensuring that businesses are able to thrive.
The training provides knowledge and understanding of potential victims and sexual predatory behaviour and is delivered to those working in the night time economy by an experienced sexual violence advocate. With the full support of South Wales Police, the training has been made mandatory to all officers who work within the night time economy. The training is voluntary for external partners. However, across South Wales it has been welcomed by door staff, bar staff and the Student Volunteers who assist with the Help Point. Our aim in 2015 is for all street pastors, bar staff, hotel reception staff, CCTV operators, taxi marshals to be trained.
We have already had examples of individuals being safeguarded from potential sexual violence and identification of sexual predators as a direct result of this approach.
An evaluation of police training was carried out in early 2016 which highlighted the value of the training to officers. All new recruits to South Wales Police are now trained in vulnerability awareness. Evidence from Street Pastor Reports has further highlighted how the training has been used and as such these reports are scrutinised on a weekly basis.
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