Pestering women in street could be made illegal but misogyny 'won't be hate crime'

Asia's Tech News Daily

Cat-calling and harassing women in the street could become an offence under plans to criminalise sexual harassment, it has been reported.

But it’s said a government-commissioned review, expected this week, will stop short of recommending misogyny be classed as a hate crime.

The review by the Law Commission will reject calls for the reclassification, arguing it would be ineffective, according to the Telegraph.

A Whitehall source is quoted as saying: “The Law

Commission is not going to class misogyny as a hate crime because it would be ineffective and in some cases counterproductive.

“But it will call for a public sexual harassment offence which doesn’t currently exist.

“It thinks this fits with other work the Government is doing on criminalising intimate image abuse and will be more productive and better in protecting women.”

Pestering women in street could be made illegal but misogyny 'won't be hate crime'
© UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag Home Secretary Priti Patel

Under proposals for the new law, police would have to show public sexual harassment would cause “harassment, distress or alarm”, with the intent to “humiliate and degrade” the target.

Home Secretary Priti Patel pledged in July to look at “gaps in existing law” to see if more can be done to ensure women are “confident their concerns will be taken seriously”.

The Law Commission is an organisation headed by judges and lawyers which proposes legal reforms to the Government.

They were commissioned to undertake the review of hate crimes three years ago by Ms Patel’s predecessor, Sajid Javid.

Their 500-page consultation document is expected to be published this week.

Nimco Ali, the campaigner and Government adviser on violence against women and girls, said the law needed to be changed to show such behaviour is unacceptable.

She told the Telegraph: “It’s like seat belt laws or the smoking ban. In order for social norms to change, you have to have legislation and then society will police it.”

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