West Yorkshire Police have announced special patrols are beginning to catch those harassing or causing distress to women trying to enjoy a night out in Huddersfield.

Police officers in Huddersfield town have begun a new ‘covert’ operation to protect women on nights out by patrolling as plainclothes officers to catch and crack down on those harassing women.

The patrols began last week (November 25th) in support of White Ribbon Day, a national campaign to raise awareness of gender-based violence.   

Talia Keane, 21, has faced catcalling in Yorkshire : 

“I would say I get catcalled at least every other day and it always makes me feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or where I’m going, it’s awful. Once in summer I got shouted at or harassed five times in one day.”

The operation has seen success in its first weekend, and officers helped eight women in one night get to taxis safely and remove cat callers from disturbing them. 

“Harassment of women and girls in any way is unacceptable and through these new patrols we have been looking to utilise necessary Police and Partnership powers to positively tackle any issues identified at an early stage.”

Sergeant Toni Ramsden of the Huddersfield Town Centre Team, said: “Police take all reports of violence against women and harassment very seriously, and believe women should feel safe to walk our streets.”  

Farah, a 37-year-old campaigner and blogger from London who runs Instagram (@catcallsofldn) outlined what it means to be catcalled:

‘‘Historically catcalling in the UK has been dismissed as oh it’s just a compliment, or harmless banter.

“Catcalling is an unsolicited and invasive remark that intrudes on a person’s space and peace of mind, it’s rooted in entitlement. A compliment in comparison is consensual, respectful and given without any expectation.

“Particularly young women face harassment far more than anyone else, and people who are part of the LGBTQ community, disabled or women of colour can face far more aggressive forms of harassment.”

Huddersfield Police also added that the Ask for Angela Scheme is active in bars in town and there is also a night safety bus in operation.