CALLS have been made for Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner to resign over comments he made about schoolgirls wearing short skirts.

PCC John Dwyer has offered a ‘full and unreserved apology’ after being reported to Cheshire’s Police and Crime Panel for ‘misogynistic remarks’ made in a council meeting.

The Conservative representative made the comments during a meeting of Culcheth and Glazebury Parish Council on November 28, in a discussion about the abuse faced by women and young girls.

The discussion centred around a survey the PCC was conducting, inviting women and girls to take part in a survey about personal safety, crime and their experiences with the police.

PCC Dwyer was heard, the complaint alleged, saying: “I notice schoolgirls in my area are all wearing very short skirts and this did not happen in the 1960s.”

Weaver Vale Labour MP Mike Amesbury said: "Mr Dwyer says one his priorities is the safety of women and girls, then he’s come out with this sexist, misogynistic, outdated comment which is victim-blaming. Implying women and girls are responsible for any unwanted attention if they wear a short skirt.”

The Shadow Minister for Building Safety and Homelessness added: “He is setting the wrong example to the men and women who work for Cheshire Constabulary given his important leadership and scrutiny role. This episode also undermines public confidence because victims may be dissuaded from coming forward if they feel they won’t be listened to.

“Mr Dwyer is supposed to be the one holding the force to account on behalf of the people of Cheshire yet how can he be taken seriously after this? I call on him to do the right thing and resign.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Louise Gittins said: "John Dwyer's comments were disgraceful and his apology does not change the fact that he thought it appropriate to comment on the clothing of young girls and blame female victims of abuse and trauma.

"If John Dwyer was sincere about tackling violence against women and girls he would have already resigned. His outdated and offensive views make it impossible for him to continue."

UNISON Cheshire Police branch secretary Joanne Moorcroft said: “The misogynistic comments made by the Cheshire police and crime commissioner are very disappointing and have caused a lot of anger.

“This is particularly disheartening as Cheshire Police has made violence against women and girls a priority for the force.

“Public confidence in policing is at an all-time low and forces’ attitudes to sexism and racism are frequently called into question, despite some of the great work staff do.

“Leaders should lead by example, and these reprehensible comments will only serve to further damage public trust in the force and the morale of the staff working in it.”

In response to the complaint, PCC Dwyer said: “I want to begin by acknowledging the understandable hurt caused, and to make it unequivocally clear that what I said was wrong.

“I would like to offer both the complainant and the Police and Crime Panel a full and unreserved apology.

“I am truly sorry and accept that my comment was inappropriate and unhelpful.

“In no way does it give an accurate reflection of how seriously I take the matter of tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG). There can be no justification for the actions of perpetrators.

“My ambition to tackle this issue is clear in my Police and Crime Plan, and the panel will know that I have personally driven a number of projects and initiatives to tackle VAWG and the crimes that disproportionately affect women and girls.

“I hope that my actions will go some way to reassuring the complainant – and anyone who is understandably concerned by my comment – about my commitment to stamping out VAWG.”