Words: Dylan Murphy
Peers voted in favour of changing the law in order to introduce stronger penalties when prejudice against women is cited as motivation for crimes.
Last night, the United Kingdom’s unelected chamber, the House of Lords, voted to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales. It came as part of a number of defeats for Boris Johnston’s government during a debate on the government’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The change to the law from the House of Lords would mean judges can impose stronger penalties when prejudice against women is proven to be the motivation behind a criminal act. It would also require police to record whether crimes were motivated by someone’s sex or gender.
The vote comes after Boris Johnston stated back in October of last year that he was not supportive of calls to make misogyny a hate crime because there was “abundant” relevant legislation already and “widening the scope” of what you ask the police to do would only increase the problem.
The news comes after the tragic murder of Sarah Everard by a police officer last year and in more recent news close to home, the murder of Aisling Murphy in Ireland.
Other parts of the controversial bill that were defeated included “serious disruption prevention orders” which increase the police’s draconian powers to “tackle non-violent protests that have a significant disruptive effect on the public”. Other defeated measures included plans to make people locking themselves on to objects punishable by up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment.
Elsewhere on District: Landlords using sex for rent may be criminalised.