Following discussions that misogyny may become a 6th strand of hate crime, Cheltenham Borough council have announced their support to combat the issue.
Currently offenders targeting race, disability and sexuality can be classed as aggravated offences, resulting in longer sentences, but hatred towards gender is not included.
Speaking to the Women and Equalities Committee, Mark Hamilton, lead member on hate crime for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said he believed the police were “going to take this forward” although it would also require action from the courts and CPS.
Recent figures show that in 2016-17 there were a total 80,393 hate crimes reported. Compared to 2015-16 where 62,518 were recorded. This escalation is the most significant increase the Home Office have dealt with since recording figures in 2011-12.
Richard Gibson, Strategy and Engagement manager for Cheltenham Borough Council says the council is very interested in the debate on misogyny being a hate crime.
“Cheltenham Borough Council is committed to reducing hate crime in all of its forms. We are part of the Gloucestershire Hate Crime Strategic Group and we have supported efforts to raise the awareness of Hate Crime including participating in National Hate Crime Awareness Week in 2017.
“We are very interested in the debate on misogyny being a hate crime and will respond as appropriate through the Hate Crime Strategic Group.”
Councillor Gibson announced that the council and local partners are preparing an event at Pittville Pump room with the aim to inspire local women and stress the importance of gender equality and inclusivity.
“The event, to be held at the Pittville Pump Rooms on Saturday 10 March 2018, will hopefully inspire local young women to achieve their ambitions and to support the IWD theme of #PressforProgress campaign; press forward and progress gender equality and think, act and be gender inclusive.”
One of the events organisers Camille Cowe, Education and Community Manager at the Everyman theatre hope the event will inspire young women to fulfill their dreams and educate everyone on women’s rights.
“The event is aimed at young people aged 11 – 18 yrs. It will be on Sat 10th March and at The Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham from 12.30-6pm and it will be free.
There will be speakers, bands, discussion panels, interactive activities, collective art etc”
She hopes to inspire young women to achieve their ambitions, Press forward and progress gender equality [and to] think, act and be gender inclusive”.
Widespread support has been displayed to wards the event from Several organisations such as The Cheltenham Science Group, The Cheltenham Trust, The Police, The Fire Service and The Military.