number - John Dwyer Cheshire Crime Commissioner

Sexual abuse targeted at a Cheshire East female councillor has been branded “disgusting” by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer.

Cllr Charlotte Leach has spoken out about the abuse suffered in phone calls.

The most recent happened on Tuesday (Sept 14) when she answered a call from a withheld number.

But instead of a constituent she heard a man breathing heavily, masturbating and using sexual language.

It is not the first time the Mobberley councillor has been the victim of targeted abuse.

A previous incident led to her home address being removed from Cheshire East Council website.

John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “What happened to Cllr Leach was disgusting.

“I want to offer her my support, as well as my reassurance that I’m going to do all I can to stop this kind of abuse against women in Cheshire.

“I agree with Cllr Leach and her view that a wider conversation is needed about how we better protect women in public office.

Cllr Charlotte Leach

Cllr Charlotte Leach

“Tackling violence against women and girls goes beyond those in public office and is part of my Police and Crime Plan.

“I am determined to do all I can to ensure that others are not targeted in a similar way to Cllr Leach.

“More needs to be done to educate people about what constitutes unacceptable behaviour and provide them with the support to challenge and report these incidents.”

Cllr Charlotte Leach said: “I would like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for his support.

“It is vital that we have an open and honest conversation about how we better protect those in public office from harassment of this type.

“There is a world of difference between holding our politicians to account and this kind of misogynistic behaviour.

“I hope that by sharing my story, I can encourage other women to speak out about their experiences.”

Support is available for victims of sexual abuse and rape from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside.

If you have experienced a crime then you should continue to call 999 in an emergency and 101 in a non-emergency.

Non-emergency crimes can also be recorded on the Cheshire Police website.

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