Transgender effect skews crime data, says women’s group
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.”