Police are empowering employees to tackle unwanted behaviour from men with a new course.

Northumbria Police Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, is calling for support with a new programme called ‘active bystander training'.

The aim is to help challenge the behaviours that support harassment and violence against women and girls.

It was launched earlier this month by the Commissioner’s office as part of determined efforts to prevent the unwelcome behaviours that can increase the likelihood of abuse occurring. 

The training seeks to equip people with the skills and confidence needed to speak up when they notice behaviours that aren’t right such as harassment, sexual harassment, or problematic and threatening behaviour.

National figures show 71 per cent of women have experienced harassment in public spaces.

Ms McGuinness said: “If no one confronts these sexist behaviours and attitudes people continue accepting them as normal – this has to change. By doing nothing we empower the harasser so it’s on us all – we all have to do something.

“It really isn’t always just banter, it’s about how it makes us feel and what these attitudes and behaviours can lead to.

“I want people to know there is always something you can do as a bystander and the more active bystanders we have in the North East, the bigger change we can make and the more we can positively impact wider culture on this.

“I really want to urge people, businesses, organisations to get signed up and be that difference. Be the guy telling your mate to pack it in or check a woman is OK. The majority of people know what’s right and what’s wrong and when they see things they want to call it out and intervene but many people are just not sure how to go about it.

“I hope this training will bring real, lasting change to workplaces, organisations and communities across the North East.

"I see it as an important step forward empowering others in the fight against violence against women and girls and improving lives.”

For more information, or to sign up for the Active Bystander Training please visit here.