Gender based hate crime still 'significantly under reported', warns Gloucestershire Police

Gender-based hate crime includes misogynistic insults. Credit: PA

Nearly 100 gender-based hate crimes have been reported to police in Gloucestershire over the past year.

Examples of the crime include singling women out with misogynistic insults or a woman being attacked by a man in public for wearing a skirt.

Gloucestershire Police recorded 95 cases of gender-based hate crime between June 2020 and June 2021, making it the fifth most reported type in the county.

According to the force, this type of hate crime is still "significantly under reported" and officers are urging more victims to come forward.

A spokesperson said: "With awareness of the gender/sex hate crime category lower than others and the category only now being adopted in all parts of the country, the number of misogyny and misandry offences is likely to be far higher than reported.

"The Constabulary was one of only a handful of forces to adopt the gender hate crime category in 2018.

"While currently gender/sex hate crime is not recognised as an aggravated criminal offence in law, the Law Commission has looked at the issue as part of a review of hate crime legislation and is due to report back on its findings later this year."

Gender/sex hate crimes relate to hostility or prejudice based on someone's gender/sex and are not the same as gender identity or trans hate crimes.

A high level project, overseen by Assistant Chief Constable Rhiannon Kirk from Gloucestershire Police, has been established to address the wider issue of violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder.

Police county hate crime coordinator PC Steph Lawrence said: "Recent national events such as the Sarah Everard murder have highlighted the campaign to end violence against women and girls and the need for police to make sure they are doing everything they can to address the issue.

"The impact of gender/sex hate crime shows this isn't about 'political correctness' or a 'woke' culture - these are serious issues that can have devastating consequences.

"We want to foster a culture where people are confident to come forward and tell us about these things, even if they want to do so anonymously, because we need to understand how prevalent it is.

"Gender/sex hate crime isn't a specific crime yet but the Government is reviewing that at the moment and this is about building up a picture of the true extent of it.

"Being abused simply because of your sex is not acceptable and it's crucial people understand they don't have to live with that - we will listen to you, take you seriously and make sure you get the right support."