Crime tsar de­fends her force’s misog­yny crack­down

Yorkshire Post - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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.”

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