Wolf whistling and catcalling could become crimes under plans to bring an end to ‘public sexual harassment’
- The strategy to combat violence against women and girls was unveiled today
- It is set to pave the way in banning explicit sexual and abusive comments
- New independent reviewer is to look at management of registered sex offenders
Priti Patel will unveil plans to combat violence against women and girls
Wolf whistling and catcalling could be made a crime under government plans to outlaw ‘public sexual harassment’.
A strategy to combat violence against women and girls unveiled today will pave the way for a specific offence of public sexual harassment, banning explicit sexual and abusive comments.
Following the uproar sparked by the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard by Scotland Yard officer Wayne Couzens, the Home Secretary received 180,000 responses to a call for comments about crimes that disproportionately affect women.
Today Priti Patel will unveil plans for a national police lead officer to combat violence against women and girls, ensuring offences such as indecent exposure – which Couzens was previously accused of – and street harassment are taken more seriously.
The minister will also appoint two ‘violence against women and girls transport champions’ to help protect female passengers on buses and trains.
A new independent reviewer is also to look at the management of registered sex offenders and find new ways to identify serial sex offenders.
Further pledges include the Ministry of Justice commissioning a 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline and a new online way to report unsafe areas for women.
The Home Secretary said: ‘It is unacceptable that women are still subject to harassment, abuse, and violence, and I do not accept that violence against women and girls is inevitable.’
But the review comes a backdrop of dismal conviction rates for rape, despite the rising number of reported incidents.
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