Police in England and Wales consider making misogyny a hate crime – September 11, 2016

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Police in England and Wales consider making misogyny a hate crime

September 10, 2016

Police forces across England and Wales are considering expanding their definition of hate crime to include misogyny after an experiment in one city that saw more than 20 investigations launched in two months. The initial success of Nottingham’s crackdown against sexist abuse has drawn national interest after the city’s police revealed that they investigated a case of misogyny every three days during July and August, the first months to see specially trained officers targeting behaviour ranging from street harassment to unwanted physical approaches. Several other forces have confirmed they are sending representatives to Nottingham this month to discuss the introduction of misogyny as a hate crime. Police and campaigners said the initial figures were broadly in line with other categories of hate crime such as Islamophobia and antisemitism but were likely to rise significantly as awareness increased. Dave Alton, the hate crime manager for Nottingham police, said: “The number of reports we are receiving is comparable with other, more established, categories of hate crime.

We have received numerous reports and have been able to provide a service to women in Nottinghamshire who perhaps wouldn’t have approached us six months ago. The reality is that all of the reports so far have required some form of police action.” Incidents reported by Nottingham women ranged from verbal harassment to sexual assault. Initial claims from sections of the media that wolf-whistling would be reported by women have proved unfounded. So far, two men have been arrested for public order offences and actual bodily harm in incidents classified as misogynist. Melanie Jeffs, the manager of Nottingham Women’s Centre, said: “Women are groped, or groups of lads shout abuse or very sexualised comments at them. We have incidents of sexual touching, women being grabbed and men trying to get women into a car with them.” Loretta Trickett, a criminologist at Nottingham Trent University, predicted that the number of reports of misogyny in the city would increase after much of the large student population – more than 60,000 attend its two universities – arrived later this month. In 10 days’ time, Nottinghamshire police will release a film featuring first-hand accounts of street harassment victims to encourage more women to report incidents.

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SOURCE = The Guardian

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The Daily Beast

The U.K. Police Force That Sees Misogyny as a ‘Hate Crime’

July 19, 2016

Last week’s news that Nottinghamshire Police in the U.K. now classify misogyny as a hate crime was praised by feminist bloggers in the U.S., eager to move to the utopian county where relentless cat-callers are thrown behind bars. The Huffington Post and The Guardian both praised Notts Police. “Literally why isn’t this a thing everywhere?” asked one writer at Self magazine, thrilled that any Nottinghamshire “asshole who whistles at you every morning needs to think twice before doling out another cat-call. That’s criminal now, sucker.”Well, not necessarily. In a statement announcing the initiative, a collaboration with the Nottingham Women’s Centre, the police department has broadened its definition of a ‘hate crime’ to include misogyny and harassment of women. Obliquely worded, a misogyny hate crime is “simply any incident, which may or may not be deemed as a criminal offense, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred,” the statement reads.

Offenses ranging from physical or verbal harassment to “uninvited engagement” and “unwanted or uninvited” text messages all classify as misogyny hate crimes, and reports of such incidents will be thoroughly investigated by Nottinghamshire Police. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a police spokesperson noted that any unwanted contact “can cover wolf-whistling and other similar types of contact. If the victim feels they’ve been targeted because they are a woman then we will record it as a hate crime.” The emphasis here is mine, as Nottinghamshire’s police force is setting new precedents in law enforcement by prioritizing feelings over evidence when reporting a misogyny hate crime.The spokesperson went on: “This doesn’t necessarily mean that a criminal offense has been committed, but means we will carry out risk assessments and offer support as we would to any victim of a hate crime.” In other words, the law hasn’t changed. (Nottinghamshire Police did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.)

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SOURCE = The Daily Beast

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ITV

Nottinghamshire Police recognise misogyny as hate crime

July 14, 2016

Nottinghamshire Police has officially recognised misogyny as a hate crime. In an effort to make the county a safer place for women, the force has provided misogyny hate crime training to selected officers and staff for the past three months. The force is the first in the country to adopt the separate misogyny hate crime category. Misogyny hate crime is classed under the new policy as “Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.”

Examples of incidents include:

  • unwanted or uninvited sexual advances
  • physical or verbal assault
  • unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement
  • use of mobile phones to send unwanted or uninvited messages
  • or take photographs without consent.

“I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms.

It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women.”

– Chief Constable Sue Fish

The new procedures have been introduced in partnership with Nottingham Women’s Centre.

“The work we are doing with Nottingham Women’s Centre is so valuable and I am looking forward to continuing that work.

What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing.”

– Chief Constable Sue Fish
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SOURCE = ITV News

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BBC News

Nottinghamshire Police records misogyny as a hate crime

July 13, 2016

Harassment of women is to be recorded as a hate crime in a bid to tackle sexist abuse. Nottinghamshire Police said it would expand its categories to include misogynistic incidents. It means abuse or harassment which might not be a crime can be reported to and investigated by the police, and support for the victim put in place. Nottingham Women’s Centre said it hopes it will help give more victims the courage to report incidents. Chief Constable Sue Fish claimed it will make the county a safer place for women. “What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” she said. “Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.” Work on the idea first started with the Nottinghamshire Safer for Women Conference last year, co-hosted by the police with the Nottingham Women’s Centre. BBC TV reporter Sarah Teale was harassed in the street while reporting on the conference.

The force defines misogyny hate crime as: “Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.” The classification now means people can report incidents which might not be considered to be a crime and the police will investigate. Nottingham Women’s Centre has been helping train call centre, force control staff and officers on the beat to recognise misogynistic hate crime and ways to tackle it. These officers will also examine if and how a victim can be supported or if anything can be done to help prevent them being targeted again. Domestic abuse will not be recorded as a misogyny hate crime because it has its own procedure, the force said. Melanie Jeffs, centre manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre, said: “We’re pleased to see Nottinghamshire Police recognise the breadth of violence and intimidation that women experience on a daily basis in our communities.”

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SOURCE = BBC News

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Nottinghamshire Police Record Wolf Whistling And Misogyny As Hate Crime For First Time

July 13, 2016

A police force will record misogyny against women, including wolf whistling and other unwanted approaches in the street, as a hate crime in a national first. Nottinghamshire Police will classify street harassment, “unwanted physical approaches” and “uninvited verbal contact and engagement” as hate crimes after hearing the testimony of victims. The current national definition of hate crime does not refer to gender but the force worked with the Nottingham Women’s Centre to create the new definition. It defines hate crimes as “any incident, which may or may not be deemed as a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred”. “We need to call out misogyny for what it is – a hate crime,” Fawcett Society chief executive Sam Smethers told HuffPost UK in a statement. “Women and girls face a tidal wave of abuse and harassment every day. Our law has to send a clear signal that this is not acceptable. It is a crime.”

She added: “This is what the Fawcett Society has been calling for. Nottinghamshire Police’s commitment to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously should be welcomed and rolled out nationwide.” Last year, 23-year-old Poppy Smart reported a group of  A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council told HuffPost UK: “There are five nationally monitored strands of hate crime but police forces can record additional categories of hate crime based on local circumstances.  “At this stage, we are not planning to increase the number of nationally monitored strands but we always keep this under review.” Nottinghamshire Chief Constable Sue Fish said: “What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing… I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms. Worcester construction workers who wolf-whistled her and aggressively blocked her way to police but was told it was the responsibility of the men’s employers. The current national hate crime definition, agreed by prosecutors and police, says it is based on race, religion, sexuality, disability or transgender.

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SOURCE = Huffington Post

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The Independent

Nottinghamshire Police to record misogyny and harassment against women as hate crimes

July 13, 2016

Police officers in the UK are to classify misogyny and incidents of harassment against women as hate crimes for the first time, under new measures. Nottinghamshire Police announced crimes ranging from harassment on the street to aggressive physical approaches will be recorded as hate crimes, becoming the first force in the country to change its definition. The force now defines misogynistic hate crime as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman”. By the end of July, selected Nottinghamshire officers and staff will have completed comprehensive misogyny hate crime training, in keeping with the new guidelines. Planning for the scheme began in summer 2014, when members of the police force met with women’s rights campaigners and staff from Nottingham Women’s Centre.

Officers listened to a range of testimonials from women who had been harassed, abused and attacked in the city of Nottingham over the past few years. Sam Smethers, chief executive at the Fawcett Society which campaigns for women’s rights, told the Independent: “This is what the Fawcett Society has been calling for. Nottinghamshire Police’s commitment to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously should be welcomed and rolled out nationwide. “We need to call out misogyny for what it is – a hate crime. Women and girls face a tidal wave of abuse and harassment every day. Our law has to send a clear signal that this is not acceptable. It is a crime.” Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Police’s chief constable Sue Fish said the force was committed to tackling misogyny “in all its forms”.

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SOURCE = The Independent

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telegraph

Wolf whistling to become a hate crime: Nottinghamshire Police cracks down on misogyny

July 13, 2016

A police force has become the first in Britain to recognise misogyny as a hate crime, in an effort to make the county a safer place for women.  Nottinghamshire Police is recording incidents such as wolf whistling, street harassment, verbal abuse and taking photographs without consent within the hate crime definition. It also includes unwanted sexual advances, uninvited physical or verbal contact and using mobile phones to send unwanted messages. Commenting on the new procedures, introduced in partnership with Nottingham Women’s Centre, Chief Constable Sue Fish said: “I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms.

“It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women. “What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing.” During the past three months, selected officers and staff have undergone misogyny hate crime training which includes “behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman”.  Work on the idea first started in 2014 after a research project led to a conference at which victims gave examples of harassment faced by women.

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SOURCE = The Telegraph

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