Cat-calling women in pubs or on the street could become a crime in planned crackdown on violence against females
- The Law Commission is considering the criminalisation of cat-calling
- It will stop short of making misogyny a hate crime as it would be ineffective
- Priti Patel said flashing and physical or verbal abuse were not low level crimes
Harassing women in pubs or on the street could be outlawed in a planned crackdown on violence against women.
The Law Commission is set to call for the criminalisation of public sexual harassment such as cat-calling and making lewd comments, it was reported last night.
It will also recommend making ‘inciting hatred against women’ a criminal offence, in a Government-commissioned review of hate crimes.
But it will stop short of making misogyny a hate crime as it was said to be ineffective and potentially counter-productive in terms of protecting women and sentencing offenders.
The Government is planning on outlawing sexually harassing women on the street
Home Secretary Priti Patel, pictured, believes such behaviour can escalate
Feminist campaigner Nimco Ali, who is advising the Government on violence against women, said that the new legislation was like ‘seatbelt laws’ and was essential to change ‘social norms’
A Whitehall source told The Daily Telegraph: ‘[The commission] will call for a public sexual harassment offence, which doesn’t currently exist. It thinks this fits with other work the Government is doing on criminalising intimate image abuse and will be more productive and better in protecting women.’
Following the murder of Sarah Everard in March, Home Secretary Priti Patel said crimes such as flashing, verbal or physical abuse of women in the street were not ‘low-level’ and could lead to more serious offences.
Feminist campaigner Nimco Ali, who is advising the Government on violence against women, said that the new legislation was like ‘seatbelt laws’ and was essential to change ‘social norms’.