THE YEAR 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the European Network of Policewomen and officers from around the continent travelled to Barcelona to celebrate the occasion.
The British Association for Women in Policing has worked closely with the network, whose motto is “Quality through Equality”.
Fay Tennet, BAWP Vice President, attended the event in September along with female officers from nations including Spain, Estonia, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta.
Fay said: “The BAWP have, in the past, worked closely with this network but we needed to rekindle the working relationship as our two organisations share the very same goals.
“As currently, British Policing isn't represented formally within the ENP I feel confident that this is the beginning of cementing a close working relationship and support with our European colleagues.”
The ENP - headed up by Barcelona’s Superintendent Monserrat Pina - has a number of goals; to increase the presence of police women; become more visible; exchange good practice and support human rights and equality. The network has been given non-governmental organisation status and as such has links with the United Nations.
Among the presentations Fay attended over the two days were talks from European experts regarding long term crime prevention.
She said: “I attended a presentation on how we perceive our public spaces. Towns are most often designed by men but spaces and public transport are mainly used by women. Women have higher fears in public spaces/transport and reducing crime by designing out crime has come about because of this status. Women should be very actively involved in public consultation and problem solving when discussing crime reduction.”
“Barcelona City Council have been very supportive and have a strong belief that public institutes should foster policies that fully develop all citizens - men and women. They believe it is important that there is a different view point rather than just a male dominated view.”
Also discussed were issues including rape investigation, the selection process into police forces and the effect of the economy on diversity.
Fay added: “There were 27 speakers over the two days - it was a really packed programme. It was a very worthwhile trip and there was lots to bring back to work and to the work of the BAWP.”
She concluded: “The speakers over the two days showed me that we share and face the same issues no matter where we are working and in whatever role.”