Making misogyny a hate crime could force a change of culture within police services and the criminal justice service, London mayor Sadiq Khan said this morning.
It comes as a Freedom of Information Request revealed that at least 750 accusations of sexual misconduct were made against police officers across the UK between 2016 and 2020, according to figures from 31 police forces, which included around 530 allegations in London alone.
Talking on LBC, the mayor said that because misogyny is not a hate crime, it means examples of it often go unrecorded.
“What it leads to is a change of culture within that police service, in the criminal justice service, but it also means that a judge can give a longer sentence because that protected characteristic is an aggravating feature.
“I’m afraid, misogyny isn’t a hate crime, which means often it’s not recorded. Some police forces are recording it and the evidence is those police forces who record it, there’s been a change in culture.”
It follows comments made by the UK’s newly appointed justice secretary and deputy prime minister Dominic Raab who said that women could be misogynistic against men.
Though it is defined as the “feeling of hating women, or the belief that men are much better than women” by the Cambridge Dictionary.
The lack of understanding of the definition and meaning sparked criticism, though Raab doubled down on his comments to BBC Breakfast, saying the move would lead to “criminalising insults”.
Liberal Democrat equalities spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said Raab’s remarks were “callous”.
“It’s little wonder the Conservatives are failing to tackle misogyny when their justice secretary doesn’t even seem to know what it is,” she said.
“These comments are an insult to the millions of women and girls impacted by misogyny and show just how out of touch the Conservatives are on this issue.”
Prime minister Boris Johnson has also appeared to reject the idea of making misogyny an offence, as part of an independent inquiry into the rape, kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard by Metropolitan police officer Wayne Couzens.