Gender-based violence discussed with Lib Dem mayoral candidate during UCL East visit

Paola Lettieri and Rob Blackie at UCL East - Credit: Andy Sillett
Paola Lettieri and Rob Blackie at UCL East - Credit: Andy Sillett
The Liberal Democrats’ London mayoral candidate took part in a round table on gender-based violence and policing during a tour of UCL East.

Rob Blackie was joined by academics, partner organisations and representatives from the Students’ Union on Friday, April 26 for the round table and invited them to offer solutions to increasing rates for sexual offences.

He has made tackling crime one of his key election pledges and has vowed to double the number of sexual predators that will be caught by creating a new Sexual Offences Unit.

The roundtable explored how sexual offences could be tackled and covered issues such as increasing awareness of gender-based violence within the Metropolitan Police data collection on the interactions people have with police and systems of reward for good policing.

Representatives from Students’ Union UCL’s Active Bystander Programme also highlighted the challenges around reporting sexual offences in a higher-education setting. For example, a crime reported by a student in their first year won’t necessarily be resolved by the time they leave.

Mr Blackie also has an interest in technology and was shown round UCL East’s Robotics, People & Nature and Connected Environments laboratories during his tour, which was organised by UCL’s Pro-Provost (London) and Public Affairs Team.

Professor Paola Lettieri, UCL’s Vice President (Strategy) and Pro-Provost (UCL East), said: "It was a pleasure to introduce Rob Blackie to the work we are doing on our UCL East campus and to support the exchange of knowledge on the topic of gender-based violence and share our student union’s work on developing active bystander training.

"Here in east London UCL is leading a range of advancements in areas ranging from health care, disability, fairer finance, AI and robotics and greener manufacturing.

"By listening and exchanging views with a diverse range of stakeholders we can build a better future together both locally for our city and globally for our planet."

The London mayoral election is on Thursday, May 2.

Students’ Union UCL’s Active Bystander Programme empowers UCL students to recognise, identify and challenge unacceptable behaviour, helping to create a safer and more inclusive culture on campus and beyond.

It consists of an online module and live workshop which is peer-facilitated by student workshop leaders and has trained more than 40,000 students.

Nick Hodgson

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