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Local running clubs offered anti-harassment training

Monday, 11 March 2024 18:02

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

Running club members in the Aire and Wharfe valleys are being offered training on how to act if they see female runners being harassed.

The JogOn initiative was launched last week in an attempt to tackle street harassment of joggers and runners.

The measures will involve undercover female police officers jogging in areas deemed hot spots for harassment in the hope of catching offenders in the act.

Now the Safer Bradford partnership are offering free training on how to act if they witness abusive or offensive behaviour towards women.

Active Bystander training will “enable anyone witnessing an incident for shift their position from passive to active by equipping them to step in.”

The training takes people through the different stages needed to get actively involved:

  • notice and be aware of the event.
  • see the event or behaviour as a problem.
  • feel responsible and motivated to act.
  • have the necessary skills to be able to intervene safely and effectively.

The partnership says: “The training empowers people to safely intervene, either at the time of the incident or after and to challenge harmful attitudes, language or behaviour that supports violence. The training supports the national violence against women and girls strategy.”

A Public Space Protection Order covering the whole Bradford District, prohibits ‘Shouting or swearing at, or abusing, threatening or otherwise intimidating (including by the use of sexual language or making sexual suggestions) to another person’ from a vehicle.

Breaches of the PSPO can be reported by emailing safer.communities@bradford.gov.uk

Councillor Abdul Jabar, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “Women should be able to go running or jogging without fear or intimidation. We want them to feel empowered to report any incidents and this training provides proactive way for any witness to step in and support someone.”

Inspector Nick Haigh of Bradford District Police said: “We are pleased to be able to work with the local runners within the community to provide this training as part of the education of the new JogOn initiative.

“It’s important that people have the opportunity to increase their awareness and skills to be able to intervene if safe and appropriate to do so and understand what it means to be an active bystander.

“This initiative is centered around women feeling safe to go out running or jogging in Bradford and we need support from the communities to achieve this.”

Active Bystander training sessions are around two hours long and are limited to 25 people. The next session takes place from 6-8pm, on Friday March 22 at Shipley Library.

Places can be booked via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/active-bystander-session-to-support-the-running-community-tickets-837345742657


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