By Leah Conway –
This week the House of Lords voted against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The legislation would have seen huge changes concerning crime and justice, including new powers to stop protests in England and Wales.
Now the Bill will go back to the Government for changes. With the rejection, the House of Lords also proposed additions to the Bill, one of which is that misogyny should be included as a hate crime.
The rejection of the Bill by the House of Lords was praised by Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, whose pledges included pushing for improvements in keeping women and girls safe.
MPs will now be able to have their say on the Bill before it returns to the House of Lords.
The Mayor urges MPs to vote for misogyny to become a hate crime when they get to have their say.
A lasting change
“I, along with so many women across the country, have experienced the damaging impact of misogyny. That’s why, as the first female Metro Mayor, I made it a priority to ensure misogyny is recorded in West Yorkshire, and it has been since December.
“I believe we all have a duty to ensure we are doing all we can to protect women and girls and I would urge all Members of Parliament to consider the difference they can make in ensuring misogyny becomes a hate crime,” she said.
“I would urge them to vote and do the right thing, which is exactly what the peers on the House of Lords have done. Those who seek to discriminate in this way should realise that they are potentially committing a hate crime.
“For too long, misogynistic comments in particular, have been normalised in society, often providing a platform for more serious offences. That has to stop and we can be part of that lasting change.
“I said I would honour my promise to women and girls when it came to their safety and this development forms part of that, along with my pledge within my Police and Crime Plan around the safety of women and girls.”
“The right to feel safe”
The West Yorkshire Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, also welcomed the latest stage, she commented, “We know that a partnership approach with the Mayor’s Office and West Yorkshire Police had already enabled the latest development to hate crime recording in our county to happen, where misogyny and misandry incidents are now flagged.
“But seeing the peers in the House of Lords make the right choice and vote for misogyny to become a hate crime is both significant and heartening.
“It was clear that the Government had no appetite to change the law which saw the lived experience of female victims of crime side-lined and ignored. I join the Mayor in urging MPs to support the Newlove Amendment when they have the chance to do so.”
“Women and girls have the right to feel safe and Tracy and I were determined to get misogyny recognised as a hate crime here in West Yorkshire and have made representations nationally to the Government too.
“More needs to be done and is hopefully being done, as this encouraging development shows.”
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