Crime tsar defends her force’s misogyny crackdown
NORTH YORKSHIRE’S crime tsar has admitted that a new police crackdown on misogyny may be seen as “political correctness gone mad”, but argues that the move to record sexist abuse against women as a hate crime will boost confidence in her force.
Wolf-whistling, cat-calling and other misogynistic harassment has now been outlawed in the county in an bid to prevent women from feeling vulnerable and intimidated when going about their daily lives.
North Yorkshire Police is the second force in the UK to make the move, after Nottingham Police became the first to record misogynistic incidents last year.
Police commissioner Julia Mulligan believes the new measure will send a strong message to women that the police will take their concerns seriously.
She said: “This is a welcome move as misogyny is unfortunately something many women and girls experience. Having said this, I do understand that some people may think this is an example of political correctness gone mad.
“However, I’d ask them to pause and think about the impact on the people bearing the brunt of such behaviour. It can’t be right that women and girls feel they have to change the way they dress, the routes that they walk and other day-to-day tasks that should be carried out without fear, worry or intimidation.
“I hope police services around the country follow suit. However, at the moment there is a gap in the law as crimes fuelled by the hatred of women are not treated the same way as other types of hate crime.”
To help outline what misogyny hate crime is, the force has worked alongside women from York St John University and made a short YouTube film which captures women talking about their personal experiences. Deputy chief constable Lisa Winward said: “Their experiences are proof that this behaviour is something that every woman has experienced and been affected by at some point in their lives.”