Misogyny-fuelled attacks will now be recorded as hate crimes by English and Welsh police

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:56 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:56 am
Crimes like stalking and sexual offences will be included (Photo: Shutterstock)
Crimes like stalking and sexual offences will be included (Photo: Shutterstock)

As part of an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, police forces in England and Wales will begin recording hate crimes motivated by misogyny.

The changes will see forces asked to identify cases in which a victim believes the crime committed against them was motivated by “hostility based on their sex”.

Stalking and sexual offences will be among the kind of crimes included.

'A vital step forward'

The move comes in the wake of Sarah Everard's recent murder, which sent shockwaves around the country and led to a mass outcry about the epidemic of violence against women in the UK.

Just hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a change in attitudes towards women and women's safety, the change was introduced in Parliament.

Initially, said Home Office minister Baroness Williams, the change would be "experimental", with a long-term decision made following a review into hate crime by the Law Commission.

Baroness Williams said data collection would be crucial in understanding how best to tackle hate crime.

Speaking while the amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill were being considered, Baroness Kennedy said: "If we are not recording crime targeted at women, how can we effectively address violence against women and girls and the police’s response to it?"

Labour MP Stella Creasy, one of the MPs at the forefront of demanding changes in the law, said: "I’m delighted that the government has listened to this cross-party and grassroots campaign to make misogyny a hate crime and is now taking the first steps towards making it happen."

Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs said: "I strongly welcome the government’s plans to ask police forces to collect data on whether violent crimes are committed on the basis of someone’s sex or gender.

"This is a vital step forward in helping to ensure that we have a more complete picture of the extensive nature of violence against women and girls."