Mayor of York and North Yorkshire
Independent Mayoral candidate, Keith Tordoff MBE

Independent Mayoral candidate, Keith Tordoff MBE, confirms his commitment to protecting women and girls who are victims of violence

8 February 2024

During Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2024, Independent Mayoral candidate, Keith Tordoff MBE, has confirmed his commitment to protecting women and girls who are victims of violence.

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week is a dedicated week-long campaign that focuses on addressing sexual abuse and sexual violence. It aims to challenge societal norms, stereotypes, and misconceptions surrounding these issues while providing a platform for survivors to share their stories and find support.

The most recent elections for the North Yorkshire, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner was in 2021, with many of the candidates saying that violence towards women and girls was an important part of their manifestos.

In December 2021, The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing published a new police VAWG framework in conjunction with experts in policing, government and the VAWG sector.

Keith Tordoff MBE said:

Violence towards women and girls has many aspects to it, including, but not limited to, coercive control, honour-based abuse, sexual assault, murder, harassment, stalking and rape.

From the work undertaken by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing, it showed that the policing response was variable, and there needed to be a more co-ordinate response.

Perhaps even more worryingly, the incidents of all violence against women and girls are predicted to rise.

Some will also question about the violence towards men, and that is certainly not to be ignored. But the the impact of of violence is proven to affect women and girls so much more. Statistically this can be proven.

However, the violence towards women and girls is often behind a closed door, where as the violence towards men is often more easily reported in the media, and more visible.

Work has been ongoing for a number of years in this area, and under all the previous Crime Commissioners.

Keith Tordoff MBE said:

The Mayor will takeover the responsibility of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. I would, as in other areas appoint a Deputy Mayor, to undertake the Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner function.

This is a tremendously complex area, intertwined with a whole raft of social issues.

As a candidate to be mayor, I would like to re-affirm my commitment in this area. I would continue the partnership working with groups such as IDAS, but look to expand it more widely with greater funding to groups such as the New Beginnings Peer Support Group.

At the core of this, there needs to be a greater understanding of why the problem is increasing. That is a national, or even a global question. But more locally in York and North Yorkshire I am committing now to ensuring that the approach being adopted by North Yorkshire is correct. That includes North Yorkshire Police in reviewing how they identify, and then subsequently handle cases, but also how partnering agencies are funded and operate.

Apart from how we identify, deal with, and the support given to thi the affects of VAWG, we need to look at the root causes. To that end there needs to be more work involving young people. Some of that work has started within North Yorkshire Police, around the work aligning their with those of the White Ribbon Organisation.

Those living in a household with domestic abuse or coercive control, often find it difficult to ask for help as part of that abuse and control is to disempower individuals. We need to be identifying problems, and interrupting cycles sooner.

We need to be cautious in having a sticking plaster approach or just appearing to be tackling the issue. As with my other manifesto commitments, the objectivities need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I would look at establishing those objectives within the first 3-months of being in office.

Keith Tordoff is urging people to pay attention to this area, educate themselves a little, and try to be more aware if they believe it is an area that affects them, or people around them. If you have questions, and would like to understand more is a good starting point for help. They may help you directly themselves or direct you to support that is more suited.


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