Our campaign to make misogyny a hate crime started in Nottingham in 2014 when our Nottingham Citizens alliance of community organisations conducted a large city-wide study on experiences of hate crime in the city, which culminated in a report that recommended that more be done to tackle hate crime generally, and misogyny in particular.
As a result, in 2016 Nottinghamshire Police became the first police in the country to allow women and girls to report cases of misogyny, offer support to victims and investigate perpetrators. In turn, this means that hateful attitudes to women in our society are being challenged and that women can walk taller on our streets, knowing that they are taken seriously. It also means that the police can intervene and thus prevent more serious cases of violence from taking place at a later stage.
A few police forces have voluntarily followed their steps, such as Avon and Somerset Police. But much more needs to be done. There are over 30 more police forces that don't treat misogyny as a hate crime and a huge number of women experience daily abuse.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) meet regularly to agree on national policies that would apply to all police forces across England and Wales. They recently held a meeting in July during which they discussed making misogyny a hate crime. Unfortunately, they did not support this move at this stage. Whilst some forces support this move, others did not. Instead, they have announced that they will conduct a review into the policy before discussing it in more detail once more at a later stage.
This is disappointing news - but the last thing we should do now is give up. There is now a lot of public pressure on the police to act. And it's worth remembering that local Police forces can still choose to include misogyny in local reporting of hate crime. Members of public should write to their local forces asking that they do this.
Step 1: find out who the Chief Constable is in your area and what their contact details are. Take a look at this list.
Step 2: use this template letter to write to them about why they should support making misogyny a hate crime.
If you live in one of the following three areas, we have letters you can sign:
If you are based in London, you can add your name to our letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick here. We will send the letter to her ahead of the NPCC meeting.
If you live in Tyne and Wear, you can sign our letter to Northumbria Chief Constable Winton Keenen here. We will send him this letter before the next NPCC meeting.
If you live in Manchester, you can sign our letter to Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins here. We will send him this letter before the next NPCC meeting.