Cambridgeshire police to start recording misogyny as hate crime

Cambridgeshire police will have to start recording misogyny as a hate crime from the autumn.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 2:16 pm

All forces in England and Wales will be asked to record and identify crimes of violence, including stalking and sexual offences, believed by the victim to have been motivated by “hostility based on their sex”.

Currently, only seven forces record misogyny as a hate crime with Cambridgeshire not one of them.

Campaigners have argued that misogyny is one of the “root causes” of violence against women.

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Home Office minister Baroness Williams announced the change on Wednesday with the Government set for a defeat in the House of Lords over the Domestic Abuse Bill.

She said: “On an experimental basis we will ask police forces to record and identify any crimes of violence against the person, including stalking and harassment and sexual offences, where the victim perceives it to have been motivated by a hostility based on their sex which can then inform longer-term decisions.”

The move has been welcomed by campaigners, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, who said: “Recording where crimes are motivated by hatred of women will help us better understand the scale of the problem and so be better able to prevent these crimes – it should give all women confidence that if they come forward to report crimes they will be taken seriously, too.”

Asked ahead of the announcement whether it reported misogyny as a crime, a Cambridgeshire police spokesperson said: “We do not record misogyny as a crime. The reason why we don’t is simply because it isn’t a crime and it would not be a police decision to change the law.

“If there is a substantive criminal offence and misogyny is a motive that may be captured as part of the investigative process.”