WOMEN at a public meeting have called for urgent action to tackle misogyny and improve safety in Stroud.

It is the second women’s safety meeting to be held by Gloucestershire police after recent sexual assaults and rapes. 

Around 90 people attended the meeting on Tuesday (January 24) at the Stroud subscription rooms where concerns were raised by attendees about misogyny in the police, education in combating sexist views and women’s safety.

READ MORE: Recap: Second meeting held after sexual assaults and rapes in Stroud

Members of Gloucestershire police, Chris Nelson the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner and a representative from Stroud District Council all spoke at the meeting.

Police discussed the "elephant in the room" that is Met officer David Carrick and admitted there is misogyny in the force.

"We want to talk about it and acknowledge it," said superintendent Jo Meecurio. 

"When I heard about Carrick I just felt dreadful. He is not part of our policing family. 

"It is despicable. He does not stand for us. I am truly sorry.”

Stroud News and Journal: Temp Detective Superintendent Rich Pegler speaking at the meeting on Tuesday.Temp Detective Superintendent Rich Pegler speaking at the meeting on Tuesday. (Image: Newsquest)

Sophie Jarret Gloucestershire's domestic abuse and sexual violence strategic coordinator spoke about tackling misogynistic views by working with local secondary schools. 

Meanwhile Temp Detective Superintendent Rich Pegler spoke about investigations, managing offenders and shaping services for victims as well as being ‘perpetuator focused’.

He said that the Stroud cemetery rape has been ‘concluded’, while the Dudbridge rape is still a ‘live investigation’.

An audience member said she doesn’t trust Gloucestershire police. 

“I don’t know how you’re going to bring back trust,” she said. 

“I wouldn’t trust my granddaughters approaching police officers.”

Since the last meeting two protests have been held - This Ends Now march in September last year and Reclaim the Night in November.

The Space Space initiative has also grown where volunteers have been making public pathways safer, as well as giving training to businesses. 

An attendee also spoke about public transport and her experiences in Paganhill and Stratford park which are very dark and unsafe at night. 

“Women are literally being stranded in the dark at night because of public transport,” she said. 

“There isn’t safe welcoming public transport in Stroud. It is giving men the opportunity to take advantage of us.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson spoke about combating misogyny in communities and in the force

“We have got to improve women’s trust in us,” he said. 

"We have sadly got misogyny in the constabulary. We are doing our best to root this out. 

"Misogyny, sexism is embedded in our entire culture and society.”

Inspector Paul Cruise from Stroud Neighbourhood Police said: “Change has got to happen. This is a male problem. 

“We need to work with young men and boys to try and counter that negativity they encounter on social media. 

“It is absolutely critical to continue to carry on these meetings and touch base with you all.”

You can read SNJ’s full live coverage of the meeting here - https://tinyurl.com/nhdvdmcn