In the spotlight, this week during the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Week of Action is the crucial theme of Safe Spaces. As the week draws to a close, West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate takes centre stage, underscoring its role as a secure avenue for reporting incidents.

The Professional Standards Directorate, operating as a standalone entity, is exclusively tasked with investigating complaints and allegations of misconduct or criminal behaviour involving officers, police staff, or volunteers.

Detective Chief Superintendent Nicola Bryar, who heads up West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “I do not underestimate the concerns that some women and girls may have in coming forward to the police to report incidents involving police employees. I understand that you may have had a bad experience with the police already or have concerns that you will not be believed.

“I want to reassure people that the Professional Standards Directorate is a safe place to contact. We will listen, we will support you and we will do everything we can to get justice for you. There is also additional support available for those who report VAWG offences.

“Quite simply, we don’t want anyone who is responsible for violence or sexual violence serving alongside us in the police service. We need victims to have the confidence to come forward to ensure that any offending or misconduct by a police officer, staff member or volunteer is investigated.”

Multiple channels are available for reporting incidents, including 999 for emergencies, reporting in person at a police station, calling 101, or using the online Live Chat. If it is determined that a police employee is involved, the report is seamlessly transferred to the Professional Standards Directorate for thorough investigation.

Direct contact with West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate is also possible by calling 01924 292044 or emailing psdintel@westyorkshire.police.uk. Alternatively, a dedicated online form is provided for submitting complaints. Written complaints can be sent to West Yorkshire Police, Professional Standards Dept, PO Box 9, WF1 3QP, and can also be facilitated by an MP or solicitor on behalf of the complainant.

For those hesitant to report directly to the police, anonymous reporting can be done through the independent charity Crimestoppers or by submitting a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Additional information is available at the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s website: Submit a complaint | Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)