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New role introduced to address internal culture around sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour

Vicki Moore has been appointed as the new Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officer

In 2022, we commissioned the support of national sexual violence and safeguarding organisation, LimeCulture, to help us understand our internal culture around sexual misconduct, misogyny, and inappropriate behaviour within the police. This was part of our ongoing work to address Violence Against Women and Girls. 

We recognised that in order to effectively police our communities in this area, we had to ensure that we had the right internal culture that recognises the importance of calling out and challenging inappropriate behaviour. The findings of LimeCulture’s report showed that there was a lack of confidence among police staff and officers in reporting inappropriate behaviour or misconduct due to a lack of support within the reporting process. As a result, Avon and Somerset Police are introducing a new role – the Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officer (SMLO). 

The SMLO’s role is to provide training to line managers of staff and officers on how to identify inappropriate behaviour and appropriately call out and report it, as well as introducing a support network for those who come forward and have experienced it. Taking on the new role is Vicki Moore, who has worked for Avon and Somerset Police for 11 years, predominantly within the Professional Standards Department Investigations team.  

Vicki Moore said: “Introducing a role such as this is key in driving forward the change we want to see within Avon and Somerset Police. My aim is that we build awareness within the organisation on how to identify and recognise signs of abuse of power or sexual misconduct and empower our staff and officers to feel confident in calling it out and reporting it. It is only by challenging this behaviour that we will see a change and I feel incredibly privileged to be taking on this new role to support my colleagues.”  

Alongside the SMLO role, we will also have a network of Sexual Misconduct Advocates made up of 20 volunteers from across the organisation. These advocates will serve as a crucial support system for individuals affected by sexual misconduct, offering guidance through reporting procedures and providing assistance and advice as required. 

Vicki is also delivering sessions with external support services for vulnerable community members on how to identify when someone may be a victim of abuse of position by a police officer or police staff member, what the warning signs are, and how they can support a victim. She has regular meetings with partner agencies to discuss any referrals or concerns they may have about a vulnerable member of the community and their interaction with the police. 

Looking ahead, Vicki is hopeful that the role will have a positive impact in driving the organisation forward to a place where sexual misconduct no longer exists within Avon and Somerset Police. “Ultimately, I’d love for this role not to be needed in the future. My hope is that we do enough work around creating awareness and providing support, that it’s not needed.”   

Avon and Somerset Police are committed to tackling sexual misconduct within the organisation, creating a safe and respectful working environment for all, and ensuring the safety of the public and communities we serve. 

If you are worried or concerned about an interaction you have had with a police officer or member of staff, please report it to us. You can do so by calling 101 or via our online report and complaints form here: Complaints | Avon and Somerset Police