Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Labour, Kingston upon Hull North 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

I have a great deal of respect for the Minister, and I was very pleased that she recently met me, Mr Baker and Lisa Squire, the mother of Libby Squire, the Hull University student who was raped and murdered in 2019. It came out in the court case that the man who raped and murdered Libby had been prowling the streets of Hull for 18 months beforehand, committing low-level sexual offences such as indecent exposure, many of which had not been reported. I know that the Minister was particularly moved by the power of what Lisa Squire had to say to her.

I really welcome the strategy if it is going to encourage people to come forward and go to the police for those non-contact, low-level sexual offences, which we know are often the gateway to much more serious sexual offending. However, it will be effective only if it means that the police and the courts are able to take that early intervention. Will that happen under the strategy that the Minister has outlined this evening?