Fewer Than 3% of Misogyny Hate Crimes In Notts Result In A Charge

1 March 2019, 08:31 | Updated: 1 March 2019, 10:20

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Capital's learnt fewer than 3% of misogyny hate crimes reported to Nottinghamshire Police since it started being recorded have resulted in someone being charged with an offence.

Figures from between April 2016, when Nottinghamshire Police became the first force in the country to begin recording misogyny hate crime, to December 2018, show 257 reports to them of this nature.

137 of these were found not to be crimes. 

Police made 11 arrests and charged six people in that time. 

The low report to charge ratio has led to criticism by national police chiefs that it means some officers are "wasting time" investigating some of these reports, when services and resources in the police service are stretched. 

Tara, from Nottingham, says she has never reported some of the things that happen to her:

Nottingham Women's Centre welcomed the introduction of the misogyny hate crime in April 2016. 

Helen Voce, who's the CEO, has told Capital, it's never been about prosecution in the main. She said: "The difference it's made to women's lives has been huge to give them the confidence to use their city without fear - which is a basic human right.

"I'm a little concerned if some police feel it's a waste of time. This is something that it affecting women every single day.

"Our focus is education. What does harassment mean? What's acceptable and unacceptable behaviour? Sometimes it is difficult to define."

Superintendent Matt McFarlane, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Hate incidents may not always be criminal offences, which is one reason they will not always result in arrests or prosecutions. Also, in some cases there is not an offender identified, or sufficient evidence to support a prosecution. 

"Nevertheless, by recording these incidents as misogyny hate incidents we recognise the experience of the victim, can provide and refer for the appropriate support and can also understand any repeat problems in order to undertake preventative action.

"One of the main reasons we decided to introduce this category of hate crime was to give women the confidence to report these issues - be that unwanted physical contact, being verbally abusive or making uninvited sexual advances. Of course, we will look to prosecute offenders where possible - however, unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to identify suspects in these cases.

"That does not mean that we haven't taken action against perpetrators, and where there is not sufficient evidence to support a prosecution, officers have spoken to men about their behaviour and explained the consequences of their actions.

"Ultimately, this is about giving women the ability and confidence to report this behaviour - many men aren't even aware that this happens and are often shocked by the extent of the issues. We have been thanked by men and women for bringing this wide-scale problem to public attention."