Britain is contemplating making avenue harassment of girls a criminal offense, the inside minister stated Wednesday, as the federal government was to publish new proposals to deal with violence towards girls and women.
The federal government is pledging to enhance laws after the kidnap and homicide of Sarah Everard, a younger girl strolling house in London, sparked widespread anger at girls’s lack of security in public areas.
Harassment comparable to wolf-whistling may grow to be a selected crime, the Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel stated in a remark piece in The Occasions, as she was set to unveil proposals on methods to assist girls reporting public sexual harassment and crack down on male violence.
Patel wrote that the federal government was taking motion on avenue harassment and would “proceed to have a look at gaps in current legislation and the way an offence for sexual harassment may deal with these.”
“I’m dedicated to making sure not solely that the legal guidelines are there, however that they work in follow and ladies and women are assured their issues will probably be taken severely,” she stated.
The homicide of Everard, 33, who disappeared whereas strolling house in London in March, by police officer Wayne Couzens “triggered a nationwide dialog about these points,” Patel stated, demonstrating “the necessity to assist victims and do extra to stop these crimes”.
The UK authorities and police have additionally confronted harsh criticism as convictions for rape have fallen dramatically regardless of extra girls coming ahead to report sexual assaults.
The federal government’s proposals embrace the creation of a brand new nationwide policing result in deal with male violence towards girls in addition to the appointment of two officers answerable for stopping violence towards girls and women on public transport.
The technique additionally requires the criminalisation of so-called virginity testing, which Patel known as a “barbaric follow”.
Campaigners for the rights of girls and women criticised the proposals as not going far sufficient, nonetheless.
Rose Caldwell, chief govt of Plan Worldwide UK, a rights organisation, stated she was “very dissatisfied” that the technique doesn’t already embrace a brand new legislation on public sexual harassment.
“We urge the Authorities to shortly ship its promise to evaluation gaps within the laws — after which it should decide to a brand new Public Sexual Harassment Regulation,” she stated.
Opposition politician Jess Phillips additionally known as for extra concrete motion from the federal government.
“The providers and assist required to finish violence towards girls and women can not run on heat phrases alone,” stated the Labour MP.
“The Authorities ought to step as much as the plate.”
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