Thank you for writing to me about misogyny.
Protecting women and girls from violence and supporting victims is of the utmost importance. I was proud to stand on a manifesto which pledged to continue the fight against the perpetrators of violence against women and girls.
Hate crime, in all its forms, goes directly against the values of our country, and it is completely unacceptable that anyone in our society should live in fear of intimidation or violence. As such, we must face down discrimination wherever we see it.
Since the publication of the Hate Crime Action Plan in 2016, I have been encouraged by the progress that has been made, which has seen an increase in reporting and improvements in the identification and recording of crime by the police.
However, rates of attrition within the criminal justice system remain high, and targeted online abuse continues to present a significant problem. While in contrast to overall trends, under-reporting still exists within specific groups.
You may be aware of the wide-ranging Law Commission review into hate crime. Work on this is well underway and the review will identify any gaps within the current legislation and determine whether sex or gender should be added to hate crime law. The Law Commission's consultation closed on 24th December 2020. The Government will be considering the review's recommendations when they are complete.
For more information please see: Hate Crime | Law Commission
I am sure you will agree in the importance of allowing the Law Commission to complete its work in this area. However, the Government has announced that on an experimental basis, police forces will be asked to identify and record any crimes of violence against the person, including stalking and harassment, as well as sexual offences where the victim perceives it to have been motivated by a hostility based on their sex.
It is my understanding that Ministers will shortly begin the consultation with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and forces on this with a view to commencing the experimental collection of data from this autumn. While this is not making misogyny a hate crime, it can inform longer-term decisions once the Government has considered the recommendations made by the Law Commission.
Please be assured that I will follow developments very closely, and will read and reflect on the findings and recommendations of the review very carefully indeed.
Thank you again for writing to me about this important matter.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking