Melanie Onn, Member of Parliament for Great Grimsby, has called on Humberside Police to treat misogyny as a hate crime in an effort to tackle rising levels of sexual offences.
The number of sexual offences in North East Lincolnshire has almost trebled in the past nine years, increasing from 184 separate offences in 2007/08, to 480 in the past 12 months. Across the whole of the Humberside Police Authority Area there were 2,233 sexual offences recorded last year, up from just 957 in 2007/08. The vast majority of sexual offences are against women and girls.
Ms Onn has written to Keith Hunter, Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, and Lee Freeman, the Chief Constable, asking that they adopt the move made by Nottingham Police Force last year to start treating ‘everyday sexism’, such as groping or verbal harassment in the street, as a hate crime. North Yorkshire Police Force have since also adopted this approach, following the success in Nottingham.
Research shows a link between sexual harassment in public places and other forms of abuse, such as sexual violence and domestic abuse. The Great Grimsby MP said stamping it out at an earlier point could help prevent sexist behaviour being seen as acceptable and therefore preventing more serious levels of abuse.