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Safer Bradford partnership launches ‘JogOn’ initiative to tackle female runner harassment

A new initiative is being launched in Bradford to tackle harassment and abuse of female runners.

The JogOn initiative has been established by the Safer Bradford partnership (Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS) – with the police carrying out enforcement action sessions involving female officers out in plain clothes to run/job in ‘hotspot’ areas.

A Public Space Protection Order bans the anti-social use of vehicles including ‘shouting, swearing at, or abusing, threatening or intimidating another person – including using sexual language or making sexual suggestions’. Bradford Council will be enforcing this.

Active bystander training will also be offered to running club members across the district.

The College of Policing has commissioned Manchester University to carry out further research into the problem. Meanwhile, Bradford’s Neighbourhood Policing Team has visited park runs and running clubs in the district to get the local picture.

The Neighbourhood Team has found that harassment is a widespread concern across the district.

Superintendent Beth Pagnillo, Bradford District Police, said: “People might not think these behaviours are worth reporting but we want to make it clear that these behaviours and incidents can be reported, reviewed and investigated and will not be tolerated.

“With the PSPOs in Bradford, these behaviours can be reported, which could lead to a breach in PSPO, and an offence being committed.

“The enforcement, education and engagement undertaken through JogOn allows us to combine efforts through partnership working to tackle these behaviours, encouraging reporting by runners across the district but also to prevent incidents from happening in the first place.”

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