Harrasment of women is a hate crime say police

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Nottinghamshire Police, in partnership with Nottingham Women’s Centre, has become the first force in the country to recognise misogyny as a hate crime.

The additional category will apply to a range of incidents reported to the police, from street harassment through to unwanted physical approaches.

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. Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.

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

In line with the new way of reporting, the force has spent the last three months providing misogyny hate crime training to selected officers and staff and, by the end of July, those officers will have completed the course.

Work began in June 2014, when then-Chief Constable Chris Eyre and Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping attended the launch of a hate crime research project, commissioned by Nottingham Citizens (the local branch of Citizens UK).

In 2015, armed with the findings of the research and funded by the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham Women’s Centre hosted the inaugural Nottinghamshire Safer for Women Conference. The event included testimonials by victims of misogynistic hate crime and examples of British Transport Police’s marketing and Hollaback UK’s campaign work.

The day contributed to an action plan, which Nottinghamshire Police pledged to implement and, shortly after, project teams were set up to create new policing policy, training packages and communication strategies.

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. Understanding this as a hate crime will help people to see the seriousness of these incidents and hopefully encourage more women to come forward and report offences.”

Nottinghamshire Police has been working hard to understand exactly what hate crime means to the people of Nottinghamshire and has a clear definition in place. A hate crime is simply 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.

Misogyny hate crime, in addition to the general hate crime definition, may be understood 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 this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

Domestic abuse is not included within the scope of Misogyny hate crime in this procedure as it is dealt with comprehensively within its own procedure.

Nottinghamshire Police takes all reports of hate crime, including misogyny, very seriously. We would encourage anyone who has witnessed or been a victim of such a crime to report it to us by calling 101.