Oxford University says sorry for International Women’s Day gaffe

Oxford University has said it is “deeply sorry” after a female cleaner was pictured removing chalk graffiti saying “Happy International Women’s Day”.

Sophie Smith, the associate professor of political theory at University College, shared a picture of the scene on Twitter, writing: “What an image for #IWD.”

The university replied to the professor in a tweet saying the incident should not have happened. “We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused. International Women’s Day is hugely important to Oxford. This should not have happened.”

Sophie Smith
(@DrSophieSmith)

Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out “Happy International Women’s Day” on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford. #strikeforUSS #UCUstrike pic.twitter.com/E9u5S37hWW

March 8, 2018

Smith thanked the university for the apology but said she hoped the cleaner, whose face she obscured in her tweet, received “a heartfelt apology”. She called on the university to ensure that all low-paid staff at the institution earned enough money to live in Oxford.

“I appreciate your apology, but far more importantly can you please make sure that the woman asked to remove the message receives a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city,” she replied.

Sophie Smith
(@DrSophieSmith)

I appreciate your apology, but far more importantly can you please make sure that the woman asked to remove the message receives a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.

March 8, 2018

Garrick Taylor‏, a laboratory manager at Oxford University and the president of the Oxford UCU union, said the symbolism of the image was key to the debate.

“During a peaceful International Women’s Day rally. A low paid and probably precariously employed female cleaner was sent out in the freezing cold to clean chalk writing saying Happy International Women’s Day. Did it have to be removed? Then?,” he wrote.

But others were baffled by the university’s decision to apologise. “Are you for real? I’m assuming it’s her job as a cleaner. Why would she get an apology and the rest of the day off? That’s bizarre,” wrote one.

Police failing to record thousands of crimes, including rape

Thames Valley and North Yorkshire police forces singled out for ‘inadequate’ recording of reported crimes by watchdog

Police tape






Thames Valley’s inspector of constabulary, Zoe Billingham, said she is ‘disappointed’ with the findings.
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Thousands of reported crimes including rape and domestic abuse are going unrecorded by police, a watchdog has warned.

The shortcomings mean victims are being failed, inspectors said. Two forces – Thames Valley and North Yorkshire – were singled out for their “inadequate” crime recording by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The assessment of Thames Valley found that nearly one in five offences (19.6%) were not being properly recorded, which equates to approximately 35,200 crimes a year.

Crimes that are going unrecorded by the force include sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

Zoe Billingham, the inspector of the constabulary, said she was “disappointed” with the quality of crime recording in Thames Valley, but that she was satisfied the force works hard to ensure victims of crime are safeguarded.

She said: “It now needs to ensure that it records crimes at the earliest opportunity, and that there is proper supervision of crime-recording decisions.”

The report on North Yorkshire estimated that the force fails to record 9,200 reported crimes a year, also including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

North Yorkshire’s inspector of constabulary, Matt Parr, said the police had implemented most of the recommendations from their 2014 report, adding they still found plenty of room for improvement.

He said: “As it stands today, we estimate almost one in five crimes in North Yorkshire are not properly recorded. This is simply inexcusable.

“The force has robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of victims of these crimes, but too many offences continue to go unrecorded and therefore not investigated properly.”

He added that North Yorkshire police were “potentially depriving victims of the services and justice to which they are entitled”.

Thames Valley police said they accepted the findings and will be addressing the concerns raised.

John Campbell, the force’s deputy chief constable, said: “This reports makes for unwelcome reading especially for a force that performs so well when measured in terms of our effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.”

He added he was pleased the watchdog confirmed they found no issues of unethical behaviour.

“I can assure the communities of Thames Valley that every day, every officer is working hard to keep you safe from harm and to protect victims of crime,” he said.

Lisa Winward, the deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire police, acknowledged the force needs to do “much better”.

She said: “Based on its inspection last year, HMICFRS found that although our officers and staff are focused on the needs of victims, our administration is letting us down, and we are not recording all crimes as we should. That must change, and we have already started to make improvements.”

The findings are the latest from a series of rolling inspections looking at the crime data “integrity” of every police force in England and Wales.

Inspectors launched the programme in November 2015 after finding the national average of under-recording of crimes stood at an “inexcusably poor” 19%.

Police failing to record thousands of crimes, including rape

Thames Valley and North Yorkshire police forces singled out for ‘inadequate’ recording of reported crimes by watchdog

Police tape






Thames Valley’s inspector of constabulary, Zoe Billingham, said she is ‘disappointed’ with the findings.
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Thousands of reported crimes including rape and domestic abuse are going unrecorded by police, a watchdog has warned.

The shortcomings mean victims are being failed, inspectors said. Two forces – Thames Valley and North Yorkshire – were singled out for their “inadequate” crime recording by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The assessment of Thames Valley found that nearly one in five offences (19.6%) were not being properly recorded, which equates to approximately 35,200 crimes a year.

Crimes that are going unrecorded by the force include sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

Zoe Billingham, the inspector of the constabulary, said she was “disappointed” with the quality of crime recording in Thames Valley, but that she was satisfied the force works hard to ensure victims of crime are safeguarded.

She said: “It now needs to ensure that it records crimes at the earliest opportunity, and that there is proper supervision of crime-recording decisions.”

The report on North Yorkshire estimated that the force fails to record 9,200 reported crimes a year, also including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

North Yorkshire’s inspector of constabulary, Matt Parr, said the police had implemented most of the recommendations from their 2014 report, adding they still found plenty of room for improvement.

He said: “As it stands today, we estimate almost one in five crimes in North Yorkshire are not properly recorded. This is simply inexcusable.

“The force has robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of victims of these crimes, but too many offences continue to go unrecorded and therefore not investigated properly.”

He added that North Yorkshire police were “potentially depriving victims of the services and justice to which they are entitled”.

Thames Valley police said they accepted the findings and will be addressing the concerns raised.

John Campbell, the force’s deputy chief constable, said: “This reports makes for unwelcome reading especially for a force that performs so well when measured in terms of our effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.”

He added he was pleased the watchdog confirmed they found no issues of unethical behaviour.

“I can assure the communities of Thames Valley that every day, every officer is working hard to keep you safe from harm and to protect victims of crime,” he said.

Lisa Winward, the deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire police, acknowledged the force needs to do “much better”.

She said: “Based on its inspection last year, HMICFRS found that although our officers and staff are focused on the needs of victims, our administration is letting us down, and we are not recording all crimes as we should. That must change, and we have already started to make improvements.”

The findings are the latest from a series of rolling inspections looking at the crime data “integrity” of every police force in England and Wales.

Inspectors launched the programme in November 2015 after finding the national average of under-recording of crimes stood at an “inexcusably poor” 19%.

Police failing to record thousands of crimes, including rape

Thames Valley and North Yorkshire police forces singled out for ‘inadequate’ recording of reported crimes by watchdog

Police tape






Thames Valley’s inspector of constabulary, Zoe Billingham, said she is ‘disappointed’ with the findings.
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Thousands of reported crimes including rape and domestic abuse are going unrecorded by police, a watchdog has warned.

The shortcomings mean victims are being failed, inspectors said. Two forces – Thames Valley and North Yorkshire – were singled out for their “inadequate” crime recording by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

The assessment of Thames Valley found that nearly one in five offences (19.6%) were not being properly recorded, which equates to approximately 35,200 crimes a year.

Crimes that are going unrecorded by the force include sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

Zoe Billingham, the inspector of the constabulary, said she was “disappointed” with the quality of crime recording in Thames Valley, but that she was satisfied the force works hard to ensure victims of crime are safeguarded.

She said: “It now needs to ensure that it records crimes at the earliest opportunity, and that there is proper supervision of crime-recording decisions.”

The report on North Yorkshire estimated that the force fails to record 9,200 reported crimes a year, also including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape.

North Yorkshire’s inspector of constabulary, Matt Parr, said the police had implemented most of the recommendations from their 2014 report, adding they still found plenty of room for improvement.

He said: “As it stands today, we estimate almost one in five crimes in North Yorkshire are not properly recorded. This is simply inexcusable.

“The force has robust processes in place to ensure the safeguarding of victims of these crimes, but too many offences continue to go unrecorded and therefore not investigated properly.”

He added that North Yorkshire police were “potentially depriving victims of the services and justice to which they are entitled”.

Thames Valley police said they accepted the findings and will be addressing the concerns raised.

John Campbell, the force’s deputy chief constable, said: “This reports makes for unwelcome reading especially for a force that performs so well when measured in terms of our effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy.”

He added he was pleased the watchdog confirmed they found no issues of unethical behaviour.

“I can assure the communities of Thames Valley that every day, every officer is working hard to keep you safe from harm and to protect victims of crime,” he said.

Lisa Winward, the deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire police, acknowledged the force needs to do “much better”.

She said: “Based on its inspection last year, HMICFRS found that although our officers and staff are focused on the needs of victims, our administration is letting us down, and we are not recording all crimes as we should. That must change, and we have already started to make improvements.”

The findings are the latest from a series of rolling inspections looking at the crime data “integrity” of every police force in England and Wales.

Inspectors launched the programme in November 2015 after finding the national average of under-recording of crimes stood at an “inexcusably poor” 19%.