Annex One: Nottinghamshire case study
Nottinghamshire Police Pilot, expanding hate crime categories to include misogynistic hate incidents
In July 2016, Nottinghamshire Police introduced a pilot, which expanded its hate crime categories to include misogynistic hate incidents. A misogynistic hate incident was defined as 'incidents against women that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women.'
One of the observed outcomes from Nottinghamshire was an increase in reporting of incidents by women and an increased confidence that women will be believed and their safety concerns taken seriously. Superintendent Ted Antill, Hate Crime Lead at Nottinghamshire Police during the pilot, reported that: "the mere fact that (Nottinghamshire police) have identified this as unacceptable behaviour and invited people to come forward and report it to us has given them a greater confidence that the types of behaviour that were referred to before, such as changing routes to work, using different modes of transport and changing dress, are no longer necessary, because they understand that if they are victimised, they have recourse through the police, whether for a non-crime incident or an actually criminal act." Superintendent Antill also observed benefits for the police as they gathered better intelligence from the increase in reported incidents. In July 2018, an evaluation report was published by Professor Louise Mullany and Dr Loretta Trickett on the Nottinghamshire pilot. 679 people aged between 16 and 79 took part in a survey, interviews and/or focus groups. In summary, the evaluation found that:
- Misogynistic harassment is very prevalent, witnessed or experienced by 93.7% of the sample.
- 6.6% of respondents had reported misogynistic harassment to police. All of these respondents were aware of Nottinghamshire police's misogynistic hate crime initiative.
- Types of misogynistic harassment experienced included "unwanted sexual advances (48.9%), groping (46.2%), sexually explicit language (54.3%) and indecent exposure (25.9%)... sexual assault (24.7%) and… online abuse (21.7%)."
- Women were far more likely to be victim of more serious harassment, and women from black and minority ethnic groups often experienced misogynistic and racially motivated harassment simultaneously.
Of particular note, the evaluation highlighted that use of the word 'misogyny' was not understood by a number of respondents. It was repeatedly reported that it was a complex concept and a word people were unfamiliar with. Further research on the pilot highlighted that "connotations of elitism and classism" were associated with the term and it was considered an academic concept. It was also highlighted that the meaning of misogyny was not clearly understood by the police officers. Both members of the public and police officers suggested gender hate crime was a more straightforward term, which more people understand. Of the six police divisions that have adopted the initiative, four have used "gender" and one has used "gender-based" as the category of hate crime, rather than misogynistic. A number of police officers in the Nottinghamshire evaluation felt that gendered hate crime was a more inclusive, as misogynistic harassment excluded male victims and female perpetrators. Generally, the initiative was not popular among police officers who responded, but there was overall support for the initiative from members of the public.
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