The Women’s Equality Party calls for all police forces across the UK to record misogyny and gender-based incidents as hate crime. The initiative in Nottinghamshire – where the police record misogyny as hate crime – has already allowed more women to step forward and report incidents of abuse or harassment, which might or might not be a crime but are then still investigated by the police.
WE further believe that violence and abuse (including online harassment) where the perpetrator has been motivated by gender-based hatred, hostility or bias should be treated as hate crimes. Such incidents should be investigated by specially trained officers, as are other incidents outlined in the College of Policing Policing Hate Crime Manual.
This approach requires a review and amendment of existing legislation, policies and practices, and the introduction of additional training for law enforcement staff, as well as increased support for victims. Furthermore, this crime of type should be included in the Home Office’s regular national review of police performance (carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS)) and in the Crime Survey for England and Wales. This will allow for a robust assessment of the prevalence of and confidence in reporting as compared to under-reporting. All forces should be asked to include this classification in their own service review processes such as victim satisfaction surveys and equality objectives (as required under the Equality Act 2010).