Trans­gen­der ef­fect skews crime data, says women’s group

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Camilla Tominey and Joani Walsh

WOMEN are in dan­ger of be­ing over­rep­re­sented in vi­o­lent crime sta­tis­tics be­cause the po­lice are al­low­ing of­fend­ers to choose whether they are recorded as male or fe­male rather than by their bi­o­log­i­cal sex.

A lead­ing women’s group is pre­dict­ing an up­surge in vi­o­lent crime ap­pear­ing to be com­mit­ted by women af­ter the Na­tional Po­lice Chiefs’ Coun­cil has con­firmed that when it comes to gen­der “we will ac­cept the de­tails that an in­di­vid­ual pro­vides to us and treat them ac­cord­ingly”.

The move also has im­pli­ca­tions for how of­fi­cers must deal with trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als in cus­tody. Body searches on a bi­o­log­i­cal male who iden­ti­fies as a trans­gen­der woman should be con­ducted by a fe­male of­fi­cer even though the majority of trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als are phys­i­cally male.

“It could lead to an in­crease in vi­o­lent and sex­ual crime com­mit­ted by women when the per­pe­tra­tors are ac­tu­ally bi­o­log­i­cal males,” said Dr Ni­cola Wil­liams of Fair Play for Women.

“That could have a pro­found im­pact on how women are viewed by so­ci­ety, if they are seen to be be­com­ing more ag­gres­sive, as well as on the al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources.”

Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests by the or­gan­i­sa­tion showed that 11 forces al­lowed peo­ple taken into cus­tody to de­cide the sex by which they were reg­is­tered.

Prob­lems with how of­fend­ers are recorded were high­lighted af­ter a vi­cious as­sault on London’s trans­port net­work dur­ing the sum­mer in which a man was beaten and suf­fered a bro­ken eye socket. The al­leged per­pe­tra­tors were de­scribed in a state­ment by Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice as a group of four women. Ques­tions were raised by the pub­lic, how­ever, when footage ap­peared to show peo­ple with the phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance and strength of males al­though dressed as women.

A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the Gen­der Recog­ni­tion Act is un­der way to de­cide if peo­ple can “self-iden­tify” as the op­po­site sex, rather than liv­ing as such for two years and ob­tain­ing a med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis as the act re­quires now.

A spokesman for Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice said: “The po­lice ser­vice recog­nises that peo­ple should be able to self­i­den­tify. How­ever, of­fi­cers ap­ply a com­mon-sense ap­proach that re­flects the in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances they are deal­ing with.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.