“No woman should ever feel unsafe walking the streets, through a park, or using public transport. We are doing everything we possibly can to tackle violence against women and girls.”

These are the words of Commanders Alison Heydari and Rachel Williams as the Met plans to launch its Walk and Talk scheme across all of London this International Women’s Day.

On Friday, 25 February, the Met police are launching opportunities to “walk and talk” in which women from all over the city can buddy up with local female police officers on patrol to share their concerns about safety, particularly in public spaces, and discuss what needs to be done to alleviate these concerns.

As we approach the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard, and following other appalling crimes against women, we know we have so much more to do to rebuild the trust of all Londoners, including women and girls, in us – an organisation dedicated to their safety.

Those taking part in a Walk and Talk will be able to have a chat with officers as they walk through any areas they feel vulnerable, and patrols will take place at times when there are fewer people, less traffic and light so officers can get a real sense of what their worries are.

The aim of the patrol is to start a conversation between members of the public and officers about what worries they have and what can be done to ease them.

Commander Rachel Williams, said: “All women and girls have the right to feel safe, at any time, day or night, in public or at home, and we are doing everything we can to improve safety.

“We appreciate and acknowledge public concern and anger, and the desire for action to be taken which keeps women and girls safe – and we agree. The Walk and Talk initiative is just one of the many things going on across London to crack down on violence against women and girls.

“We have established specialist Predatory Offenders’ Units across London to arrest and charge those who carry out violence, much of it domestic or sexual violence.

“We have deployed more officers in high-visibility patrols in known hotspot areas for violence against women and girls, and places where people may feel less safe.

“Just last week, we launched a second tranche of town centre teams, meaning there are now 650 new officers working in city centres and high streets to reduce crime and increase confidence in communities through greater police visibility, including for women and girls.

“We want all women and girls to know that we are listening to your concerns and worries and we are 100 per cent committed to making you feel safe – as you should – in London.”

On Thursday, 24 February, the Commissioner was joined by community representatives from Southwark Young Advisors, the local Safer Neighbourhoods Board and Southwark Local Authority on an evening Walk and Talk in Peckham ahead of a full launch on Tuesday, 8 March.

The scheme is being rolled out across all 12 Borough Command Units (BCUs) following some positive feedback from the public after patrols in south London last summer.

The initial idea came from Inspector Becky Perkins, from the Central South Neighbourhoods Team, who wanted women in Lambeth and Southwark to feel confident and safe on the streets. She enlisted 25 neighbourhood officers to buddy up with women for patrols in the hope that by walking with them on their usual routes, and hearing first-hand what their concerns were, police would be able to act and build trust.

Inspector Perkins, said: “We know there are many women out there who don’t feel completely safe walking London’s streets and we want those women to know we are here for you, we are listening and we are doing all we can to make the streets safer.”

One Walk and Talk participant added: “It’s good to know that the Met is trying to listen to the public, make changes and really see how women feel.”

The Met is under no illusion that it too needs change – and it is. We are ambitious for change and we are transforming – that means listening and acting on recommendations and findings from independent reviews, learning from other forces and hearing the views and experiences of women and girls.

The specialist Predatory Offenders’ Units have arrested more than 2,500 suspects since last November, of which, more than half of cases were related to domestic abuse.

We have stepped up patrols of open spaces and the night-time economy across London and transport hubs, making the most of local resources and, where available, using Pan-London Reserves. These provide an increased police presence where it is needed in key “hotspot” locations which are identified through intelligence.

And we are determined to improve the way we investigate rape and sexual assault and put ourselves forward for a national programme to transform our approach.

Commander Dr Alison Heydari, said: “We know the murder of Sarah Everard, along with other awful cases where officers have behaved appallingly toward women, have deeply impacted trust and we are determined to do everything we can to rebuild the faith we need the public to have in us. We also know that the change has to start with us.”