The Met Police has announced a new scheme aimed at improving women’s safety across London.

Launched on International Women’s Day, the force’s new Walk & Talk initiative invites women to meet up with local officers to share their thoughts on safety.

From March 8, women in all London boroughs can apply to meet up with a local officer and discuss safety issues while walking through areas in which they feel vulnerable.

The Walk & Talk initiative is the brainchild of Lambeth and Southwark-based acting Inspector Becky Perkins.

Perkins wanted women in her area to feel confident and safe on the streets.

She enlisted 25 neighbourhood officers to buddy up with women for patrols in the hope that by walking with them on their usual routes, and hearing first-hand what their concerns were, police would be able to act and build trust.

Inspector Perkins is one of more than 16,000 women working for the Met.

Of these, nearly 10,000 are police officers, working in wide-ranging teams such as Safer Neighbourhoods, the Specialist Firearms Command, Violent Crime Task Force and the new Town Centre Teams.

According to the Met, one in three local officers is female.

Commander Helen Harper, head of Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement for the Met, said: “We are really listening to what women are telling us about how safe they feel in London, and we are working hard to improve their safety.

“We are continuing to build a Met that better represents the communities it serves by recruiting more women police officers.

“Now, more than ever, we need women who have a passion for helping others to join the Met, to help us continue to always be better.

“International Women’s Day is only 24 hours but the Met is committed to listening to and acting on the needs of women inside and outside of the Met every single day of the year.”

Details on how to apply for a Walk & Talk can be found at and on posters appearing across London from today.

The force is also celebrating its female staff and encouraging women to consider a career with the Met.

A series of events are running throughout the week in which women can learn about a career as a police officer.

A group of women from the Met’s Outreach team - dedicated to recruiting police officers from more diverse communities - has partnered up with women from London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade to hold a live webinar.

The webinar will see the group talk about what it’s like to be female and on the front line.

Two police officers from the Met’s Mounted Branch and an acting detective inspector who solves robberies in Enfield and Haringey are among the guest speakers, and will be live streaming from the Met’s stables at Great Scotland Yard.

They will be discussing why they joined the Met, the realities of being a police officer and why they think it’s important for more women to join “the job”.

They will be joined by PC Emma Cross, a hate crime and woman engagement officer for Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley.

Cross said: “A massive part of my work I do on my own initiative and I have a lot of pride in supporting vulnerable people.  “With every person I speak to I make it my main goal that they know they have been listened to, and that we as an organisation are transparent and care.”

In Ireland today, the most top ranking woman police officer in the history of the UK, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick, will deliver a keynote speech at the annual International Association of Women Policing conference alongside some of her policing counterparts.

Numerous other events are taking place across the Met including the launch of the second phase of a joint reverse mentoring scheme with charity Girls’ Network, which sees disadvantaged young women and girls coach senior women police officers.

The Met lists the following as being among its range of benefits for women employees:

  • Part-time working and flexible rostering, including job-sharing
  • Met Baby, a dedicated support service for parents who are expecting or adopting a child and the Fertility Support Network for those undertaking fertility treatment
  • A career development service providing underrepresented employees with personalised support to achieve their career aspirations
  • Specialist women’s support groups, such as the Network of Women and the Endometriosis Support Network

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