Mayor of West Yorkshire reacts to Law Commission’s Hate Crime Report

Responding to the Law Commission’s report into Hate Crime which has been released this week, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“The report makes a number of welcome recommendations, however it is disappointing to see that sex or gender is not being proposed to be added as a protected characteristic for the purposes of aggravated offences and enhanced sentencing. I believe this sends the wrong message to our communities.

“I have pledged to put the safety of women and girls at the heart of my policing plan and here in West Yorkshire we are making strides with multi-million pounds worth of funding injected into support services and prevention programmes. Only last week, we were also able to announce that West Yorkshire Police would now be recording misogyny.

“On the reports more positive points, it’s fantastic to see a more inclusive definition of transgender identity. This will include transgender or gender diverse identity and I welcome the reports recommendation that the aggravated offences which currently exist for race and religion, should be extended to all other existing characteristics in hate crime laws.

“Diversity, equality, and inclusion are key cross cutting themes in my new Police and Crime Plan and core values for both myself and my Deputy for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe.

“Extending the offences of stirring up hatred in relation to a person’s sex or gender, and tackling the growing threat of “incel” ideology, and its potential to lead to serious criminal offending, is also encouraging.

“Finally, I would absolutely welcome a government review of the need for a specific offence to tackle public sexual harassment. I will be monitoring and campaigning for these changes as part of my wider ongoing work on what is a key, and very personal commitment of mine.”