Raab says women should not have to ‘look over their shoulders in fear’

In a speech at the Conservative party annual conference in Manchester, newly appointed Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has promised to “transform” how female victims of violence are treated by the criminal justice system.

This comes just hours after Prime minister Boris Johnson told the BBC Breakfast programme he would not make misogyny a crime, suggesting that such a move would overload police.

Mr Raab, who served as Foreign secretary before last month’s cabinet reshuffle, said the “first duty as a government is to protect the public” and that the “harrowing” murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessaquite understandably sparked a national outpouring of fear and anger”.

In similar phrasing to speeches from the shadow frontbench at last week’s Labour party conference, Mr Raab said “making our communities safer” is his “number one priority”, and that women should be able to walk home at night without “having to look over their shoulder in fear”.

The justice secretary says he will make the Victims’ Code law. The Code currently sets out guidance that on the rights of victims of crime.

He announced an extension to the Clink Kitchen training programme from 8 to 17 venues. The program sets up restaurants in prisons to train offenders to prepare them for employment after their release.

He also vowed to reform the Human Rights Act to end what he describes as “abuses” of the system.