Women’s safety is a key focus in public protection - Adam Brown
This week, Public Protection have been given control of the Capital Cops column.
As of April 2023, I will have been a police officer for 22 years, having joined Durham Constabulary in 2001 before transferring to the former Lothian and Borders Police in 2005.
I’ve worked in various CID roles at divisional level since 2009 and after getting promoted to Detective Sergeant in 2016, I moved into Public Protection, which has really become a vocation for me. I have since worked as a Detective Inspector and now Detective Chief Inspector within the unit and in my time I’ve worked within the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, Sexual Crime and Offender Management.
We deal with some of the worst crimes that are perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our community. I am fortunate to work with dedicated, professional officers along with colleagues from our partner agencies, who all share the same objective of holding perpetrators to account and ensuring victims and survivors are provided with all the support and assistance they may require.
Having become the DCI within Public Protection, I assumed role as chair of the Equally Safe Edinburgh Committee, which is multi-agency group that co-ordinates the Edinburgh response to the Government’s Equally Safe Strategy. This is the strategy to address violence against women and girls (VAWG). Chairing this group allows me to remain closely involved not only in the response to Domestic Abuse but also the wider elements of VAWG.
We are currently working closely with our partners to address Women’s Safety in Public Places (WSPP) on the back of a recent public consultation on the subject, which will open again in the coming months. This includes membership of the WSPP Community Improvement Partnership convened to examine the issue and an ongoing review of Operation Nightguard – our policing operation to deter crime and enhance public safety for those utilising the night time economy.
Our aim is to give significant focus to intervening in predatory and other harmful behaviours and promote a wider understanding of their impact on the safety and quality of life for women and girls using public spaces.
In addition, Police Scotland’s “That Guy” campaign continues to operate and encourages men to challenge harassing or predatory behaviour they observe towards women within their peer groups.
Preventing abuse from occurring in the first place is a priority. The above work builds on our existing approach to this, which includes the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS). This allows the police to disclose a person’s abusive past to their partner so that they can make informed decisions about their safety. Applications to the scheme have increased annually since it was started in 2015 and can be made by anybody at https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/disclosure/.
In addition to investigating crimes in the real world, an increasing amount of our investigations are focused within the online realm.While the internet has many benefits, it does present a number of risks and it’s important that we equip our communities with all the relevant information and advice to keep themselves safe. There is lots of useful information about staying safe online available at https://www.scotland.police.uk/advice-and-information/internet-safety.
DCI Adam Brown, Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit