Making misogyny a hate crime

Hate crime, in all its forms, goes directly against the basic values our society is based on and it is unacceptable that anyone should live in fear of intimidation or violence. We must stand up for diversity and face down discrimination wherever we see it.

Since the publication of the Hate Crime Action Plan in 2016 I have been encouraged by the progress that has been made, which has seen an increase in reporting and improvements in identification and recording of crime by the police. However, bringing cases to a successful prosecution remains difficult, and is an area I will encourage Ministers to keep in mind. Targeted online abuse continues to present a significant problem and under-reporting still exists within specific groups.

I welcome the wide-ranging Law Commission review into hate crime. Ministers have committed to looking at its findings when they are published, and using them to draw up a revised policy which will include any crime based on gender or sex as a hate crime. I understand that Ministers will shortly begin the consultation with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and forces on this.

Amendment 87B to the Domestic Abuse Bill was debated in the House of Lords last week but withdrawn after seeing the effective work the Nottingham police force has been doing, on a trial basis, of recording any misogynistic crime. The Government has now implemented that from now on, all police forces will record any crimes aggravated on the basis of sex, in an attempt to better understand the scale of the problem and expel it completely.

I welcome this new enforcement and I will continue to follow the developments closely in order to ensure the safety of my constituents.