Businesses across Peterborough and Fenland are being urged to sign up to a new accreditation scheme that aims to tackle the issue of violence against women and girls. 

Queensgate Shopping Centre, The College Arms and Putt stars mini golf among others have all already signed up to the Business Against Abuse scheme, which includes representations from Rape Crisis. 

The development of the accreditation and the training has been funded by the Home Office’s Safer Streets 4 scheme and will show participants how to identify predatory behaviour, how to prevent it from escalating into a possible sexual offence and how to make their businesses a safe place for everyone, in particular for women and girls. 

Once they have successfully completed the training they will be accredited as a Business Against Abuse premises, receiving a staff training video, window stickers, lanyards and wrist bands to showcase their commitment to tackling predatory behaviour. 

Chief Inspector Ian Lombardo said: “The development of this training is part of the force’s commitment to making our streets a hostile place for potential offenders. 

“The Police can’t be everywhere, but with a network of businesses that are committed to tackling the issue of violence against women and girls, with staff who know how to spot the signs of predatory behaviour and have the confidence to take the required preventative action, will help stop this type of behaviour from escalating into a sexual offence.” 

He added: “Predatory behaviour can occur anywhere which is why this scheme is open to any business that’s serious about tackling this important issue and is willing to make the required commitments. 

“The accreditation scheme is initially being launched in Peterborough and Fenland, however we are planning to open it up to the rest of the county within the next few months, so if you are a business outside of these areas and are interested in signing up to this scheme, please do contact us.” 

The training will take place at the Bull Hotel in Peterborough on 21 March, with one morning and one afternoon session. Refreshments will be provided. 

SIA Officer Chris Barron said: “We encourage all Cambridgeshire security operatives to participate in this specialist training provided by the Police to help them support vulnerable women and girls who are out and about in Cambridgeshire. 

“The private security industry makes a valuable contribution to the protection of women and girls and security operatives have a duty of care regarding people in vulnerable situations.  

“This training will provide a unique insight and offers the opportunity to explore this sensitive subject in a safe space.” 

Those interested in attending should email with how many places are required and which session they would prefer to attend. Businesses should also provide the names of people attending, job titles and, if relevant, SIA license number.