Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to make misogyny a hate crime, amid widespread concerns for the safety of women in Britain.
During an interview with BBC Breakfast, the PM declared there was already ‘abundant statute’ in place to address violence against women and girls, stating that by ‘widening the scope of what you ask the police to do, you will just increase the problem’.
Speaking from the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Johnson argued that making misogyny a hate crime would lead to the justice system getting overloaded, meaning the fight against rape and domestic violence would actually be made more difficult.
The PM described violence against women as being ‘the number one issue in policing’, remarking that the approach taken by various forces is ‘just not working’.
When asked whether or not misogyny should be written into law as a hate crime, Johnson responded, ‘Rather than introducing new laws, what you need to do is enforce the existing laws’.
‘What you need to do is get police to focus on the very real crimes,’ he added.
Meanwhile, as per BBC News, Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown has stated that misogynistic abuse could become a separate crime in Scotland, emphasising that the attitude of men to low level sexism needed to be challenged in order to make women safer.
Johnson made his remarks following the sentencing of former police officer Wayne Couzens, who was given a life sentence for the rape and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the national domestic violence helpline Refuge on 0808 2000 247