This police force just made history by treating misogyny as a hate crime
For the first time ever, police officers in the UK are to treat incidences of misogyny and harassment against women as hate crimes.
The first ever police department, in Nottinghamshire, said that crimes from harassment on the street to aggressive physical approaches will start to be recorded as hate crimes.
In doing so, Nottinghamshire Police will be the first police force in the UK to do so.
Misogynistic hate crimes are now identified by the force 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 new guidelines also include using a mobile phone to take photographs without consent, or to send harassing messages.
Misogyny hate crime training for officers will take place by the end of July, in line with new guidelines.
Plans began for the new policy in 2014, as members of the force met with women’s rights groups.
Nottinghamshire Police chief constable Sue Fish said the force was committed to tackling misogyny “in all its forms”.
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“What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” she said. “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.
“Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.”
Melanie Jeffs, Centre Manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre, told the Independent: “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.”