A police chief has accused newspapers of trivialising attempts to clamp down on misogynistic abuse in the streets.

Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police Sue Fish was talking about her force’s initiative to record street harassment, verbal and physical abuse, and unwanted sexual advances towards women as a ‘hate crime’ in order to try and encourage people to report such offences.

The news was given a sensationalist spin in The Daily Mail and The Telegraph, with both using the headline WOLF WHISTLING TO BECOME A HATE CRIME.

The Guardian and the Huffington Post also reported on the story using the ‘wolf whistling’ angle.

In a statement on the Nottinghamshire Police website, Chief Constable Fish said: ‘Claiming we are focusing on wolf-whistling and cat-calling does nothing more than trivialise our intentions.’

‘We want to encourage women to feel that they can report incidents where they have been made to feel intimidated or frightened by unacceptable unwanted behaviour.’

Nottinghamshire Police have been working with Nottingham Women’s Centre to develop the project after hearing many first-hand accounts from women who have experienced various forms of abuse ‘but felt there was nothing they could do about it’.

Testimonies from women at the Women’s Centre included stories of a builder near a school repeatedly shouting abuse at women with their children, teenagers being sexually propositioned and a woman who was threatened with physical violence by a stranger in a takeaway restaurant.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.


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