Police from a small county in England announced Wednesday that harassing women on the street would now be classified as a “hate crime.”
Nottinghamshire police said actions such as street harassment, taking a photo without permission, and sending unsolicited text messages are now classified as “hate crimes,” reports The Washington Post. The Chief Constable claimed that the Nottinghamshire Police department is trying to combat all aspects of misogyny.
“What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” Chief Constable Sue Fish said in a statement. “Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.”
Nottinghamshire also added “misogyny hate crime” which is defined as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behavior targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.”
Police officers received training on how to recognize misogyny and ways to fix it, reports the BBC. Officers are supposed to figure out how to support the women who were harassed and to see if there is anyway to stop it from happening to them again. Training started three months ago and will finish at the end of July.
Domestic abuse is not considered a hate crime, because it has its own separate procedure.
“We’re pleased to see Nottinghamshire Police recognize the breadth of violence and intimidation that women experience on a daily basis in our communities. Showing that the police take it seriously will also give people the confidence to come forward and report offences,” Melanie Jeffs, the manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre, said.
The police department claimed that Nottinghamshire is the first county in England to classify misogyny as a hate crime. Other countries in Europe have already made similar laws.
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