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From Monday 5 April 2021, the force will be including gender hate under its definition of hate incidents and crime in Derbyshire.
Hate incidents are offences where a victim, or any other person, perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person's identity. Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland annually monitor five strands of hate crime - these are disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Although gender hate is currently not included within the national five strands of hate crime, the recording of misogyny incidents has been adopted by seven police forces so far. In the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard, a recent decision was passed in the House of Lords stating that police forces in England and Wales are set to record misogyny as a hate crime on an experimental basis from autumn.
Derbyshire Constabulary recognises the significant physical and emotional effect gender hate has on victims and to society. Due to this, the force will be expanding these categories from 5 April 2021 to ensure that any form of gender hate also becomes a reportable incident.
In Derbyshire, we will recognise gender hate as: “A crime or any non-crime incident, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s gender or perceived gender.”
A new recording and investigative process will be implemented, ensuring that all incident reports, whether crime or non-crime, motivated by a person’s gender will be addressed. By bringing in these new robust procedures, the force aspires to give individuals the confidence to come forward and report any gender hate occurrences experienced towards them, allowing us to thoroughly examine each case and provide the relevant referrals to our victim support services.
All officers have recently completed comprehensive gender hate training sessions, on ways to tackle these incidents and to ensure that accurate and consistent reporting on gender hate offences take place. By recording these incidents, it will assist the force in analysing and identifying threats and can aid us in protecting vulnerable victims and the public. Reporting specific incidents on gender, will allow the Constabulary to be able to deliver an enhanced level of service to support victims and reduce gender hate incidents across the county.
Newly appointed NPCC Lead for Gender, Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “Whilst the force acknowledges that gender hate is not specified as a protected characteristic, we strongly believe that any form of act on an individual, motivated by gender, should be reportable.
“We have found on numerous occasions that because these incidents are not specifically recorded, that sadly, many occurrences tend to go unreported by victims and the wider public. By including gender hate incidents within our hate crime and incident work, it demonstrates our commitment to tackling these unacceptable acts, with an aim to provide individuals with the courage to come forward and report any prejudice of gender hate felt towards them.
“Our aim is to ensure that where people feel they have been subjected to hostility or prejudice, based upon their gender or perceived gender, they can seek support. No one should be made to feel victimised, experience intimidation or face violence just because of someone’s preconception of an individual.
“By working in partnership to promote the reporting of gender hate across Derbyshire, we can help to support and protect victims, identify individual and community concerns, raise public confidence in reporting offences and ensure that these incidents are appropriately identified, investigated and represented – with the ultimate goal being to reduce the gender hate acts committed.
“We want to send a very clear message, that any form of hate towards an individual is not acceptable and we will not stand for someone being persecuted simply because of being who they are.”
Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Hate of any kind is abhorrent and needs to be challenged and called out. I am pleased that Derbyshire’s chief constable and the Constabulary will now adopt gender hate as a priority in Derbyshire as it is in some other areas.
“As the national lead for hate crime, I know the strong message this decision gives to victims of gender hate that they do not need to suffer in silence and can get help.
“I am particularly pleased that we will be backing this new priority with training and robust procedures of recording and proactive investigation and prosecution where required.”
Our officers and staff are trained to deal with hate incidents sensitively and professionally. By reporting it, you may be able to prevent it from happening again to you or someone else.
Remember, you don’t have to be the victim of a hate incident to report it. You can report what you’ve seen happening to someone else, or report it on their behalf if they don’t want to.
On our website you will also find details of organisations which can provide further help and support, if you or someone you know has been affected by hate incidents: How to report hate crime.