'Kerb crawling' of school girls should be illegal, says Harriet Harman MP

Harriet Harman MP will urge the Government to outlaw the curb crawling of school girls.

‘Kerb crawling’ of school girls should be outlawed by the Government in next week’s police bill, Harriet Harman MP has told ITV News.

The Labour MP will bring forward an amendment to the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill in a bid to urge the Government to outlaw the kerb crawling of school girls.

‘Kerb crawling’ is when a vehicle drives alongside someone and harasses them. Currently, kerb crawling is only an offence when the kerb crawler is seeking to buy sex. 

Ms Harman, who is MP for Camberwell and Peckham, told ITV News that school girls have been raising the issue of kerb crawling with her. 

The Labour MP heard from girls who have walked home from school in the dark, only to have men follow them in cars trying to get the school girls to enter their vehicles in a “menacing” way.

Ms Harman described this as “absolutely frightening” and said “this shouldn’t happen”.

The Labour MP, who is Mother of the House as the longest-serving female MP, urged the Government and MPs to take action on kerb crawling when the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill returns to the House of Commons next week.

Harriet Harman is probably the Labour Party's most experienced female politician. Credit: PA

The bill will introduce and update a raft of new laws relating to policing and crime.

In an amendment to the bill next Monday, Ms Harman also said she will urge the Government to give victims of sexual offences the right not to have their previous sexual history cross-examined in court. 

Plan International UK, a charity that campaigns for children's rights and equality for girls, told ITV News they think there needs to be a legal change for girls and women to begin to feel safe in public spaces.

Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK said: “Girls in the UK are facing harassment everyday. They’re being followed, shouted at, touched and groped – and it needs to stop."