Crimes motivated by misogyny will be recorded as a hate crime by police in England and Wales. This follows the Government agreeing to campaigners’ demands following the murder of Sarah Everard. A Home Office spokesperson has said that Police forces will be asked to record and identify any crimes of violence, including stalking and sexual offences, where the victim believed it to have been motivated by ‘hostility based on their sex’.
However, the change will begin on an ‘experimental basis’ from the Autumn and information from this will in turn inform longer-term decisions. Currently, crimes such as assault, harassment or criminal damage are already considered hate crimes in cases where a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity is involved. These are treated more seriously by the courts. But campaigners have criticised the existing laws, and called for sex and gender to be added to the list.
The lobby group, Citizens UK, welcomed the change, saying it was ‘over the moon’ to hear that the government was finally listening to communities. ‘It is a significant step towards transforming the harmful attitudes that exist and making society safer for women and girls,’ said campaigner Taj Khan. ‘This development will allow tracking and recording of misogynistic crimes so that patterns can be identified, and perpetrators can be held accountable.’