Today marks the anniversary of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard, by serving Metropolitan Police Officer, Wayne Couzens, now serving a whole-life jail term. A truly heinous crime which rightly drew the harshest of punishments.
But has it led to any substantial changes – apart from the resignation of Cressida Dick, whose ability to tackle prejudice issues in the Met were questioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan? Not that there was a shortage of people who thought she should go for other reasons. On Monday, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, hated by many for a plenitude of reasons, returned to the Commons after suffering a series of defeats in the House of Lords. A few amendments were made to the bill, including that misogyny should be classed a hate crime. The amendment was soundly defeated with a majority of 124.
The Law Commission's review said the move risked creating "hierarchies" of victims and may "prove more harmful than helpful". Many people are not and have never been comfortable with the whole aura surrounding hate crime. Whereas the reasons behind a crime may affect sentencing, its severity has to be the main factor. We cannot have a society where one victim is placed above another in terms of importance.
Just imagine a situation where a potential mugger is looking for a victim. If that person knows that some targets will attract a greater punishment due to their gender, sexuality, ethnic origin etc, is that person not going to focus on people outside those groups? So, then the vulnerability of one section of the community is merely transferred to another. In domestic violence, it is known that men are the victims of a documented one third of cases. If the reasons behind them were construed as misandry, surely, we have a situation where one “hate crime” is equal to another and then we have introduced yet more laws that achieve absolutely diddly squat.
So how do we cut the numbers of violent crime? Try putting a visible police presence on the streets again, reducing man hours spent trawling the internet in search of “inflammatory” speech, stop painting police cars with woke symbols and stop arresting people for victimless “crimes” such as possession.