So, who to vote for? Based on the data we collated, GRARG have set out our recommendations below along with some selected quotes from their replies to our volunteers.
These candidates were clear that VAWG should be a priority and that sex must be respected in reporting of crimes and the treatment of victims.
Unfortunately, given the poor response rate, we could only make recommendations for 25 police force areas.
Sadly 43% of respondents didn’t reply. We don’t think this is acceptable from people who are standing for such an important role that exercises considerable executive power over the determination of local policing priorities, and how policing funds are spent in your counties, towns and streets.
That’s why GRARG are pleased that since our first blog of collated responses was published over the Bank Holiday, a few more PCC Candidates have now got in touch. This is healthy for our democracy, and crucial for an election where turnout is often less than 30%. Your votes could really make a difference!
Our most recent analysis of the 57% who did respond to our questions, reveals 48% prefer recording and reporting on criminal offences by Sex, 12% preferred gender, and 40% were our beloved ‘Fence Sitters’!
You’re busy voting on the worst responses in Sarah Phillimore’s Poll, (and please continue! https://gcritical.org/2021/05/05/pccgenderwoo-razzies/ ) but we at GRARG also think you deserve to hear some of the heart warming remarks of those brave men and women who still believe #SexMatters, so here are our Recommended #PCC Candidates… in their own words.
|Police Force Area||Recommended Candidate(s)||Selected Quotes|
|1||Avon & Somerset Police Service||John Smith (Indy) OR Mark Shelford (Con)||…[my priorities include] lobbying for misogyny be recorded as a hate crime which I think is important for cultural change….|
|2||Cambridgeshire Police Service||Nicky Massey (Lab)||…Yes the equality act has my support and sex should be recorded. I have no issue with gender being recorded alongside that sex must be recorded…|
|3||Cheshire Police Service||Nick Goulding (Reform)||…I am in favour of accurate and meaningful reporting…|
|4||Cumbria Police Service||Barbara Canon (Lab)||..You have raised an entirely valid point about gender! I have seen discussions elsewhere about it but I am not certain how well it will come out with final legislation. I will be happy to take that up with the Chief Constable..|
|5||Derbyshire Police Service||Tim Prosser (Reform) Angelique Foster (Conservative)||…I would have to agree that using gender as the definition will confuse and reduce the usefulness of any stats…(TP) …The issue you described is very valid and if elected I will look into it in more detail. I certainly agree with the sentiment of your argument. The proper crime data recording is an invaluable tool to gage how the police are performing in each category. I would certainly want to see that the data recorded is properly reflective of the crime committed… (AF)|
|6||Devon and Cornwall Police Service||Gareth Derrick (Lab)||… I absolutely agree that where any intimate police search takes place that the individual must have a right for the search to be conducted by an officer of the same biological/birth sex..|
|7||Dorset Police Service||David Sidwick (Con) or Patrick Canavan (Lab)||….I would also ask for birth sex.|
I know that there are fervent voices campaigning for self-identification to be the only criteria. I do not hold with that and certainly not in the context of a safeguarding…(DS)
|8||Essex Police Service||Chris Vince (Lab)|| I have been a supporter of making misogyny a hate crime for some time and am glad that it will now be recorded as such. If elected as PFCC I will work with officers, leadership and community organisations to provide a method of reporting that women feel comfortable with so that they are not frightened in coming forward and will monitor this. I also want to make the role of deputy PFCC specifically focused on domestic violence and violence against women.|
I also agree with your second point about the dignity of female suspects.
|9||Gloucestershire Constabulary||Adrian Stratton (Indy)||…I am now informed that Gloucestershire have recently begun recording the biological gender on crimes. I would review this as a priority…. (we believe he did mean sex not ‘biological gender’ here)…|
|10||Hampshire Constabulary||Donna Jones (Con)||….In terms of assurances from me, that Hampshire Police will be fair in their reporting and ensuring they capture the true and accurate data of someone’s sex at birth (where this is relevant), you have my assurance….|
|11||Leicestershire Police Service||Ross Willmott (Labour)||…I support what you say about strip searches and we need to work hard to ensure there are enough female police officers…|
|12||Merseyside Police Service||Bob Teesdale (Con)||….I think it is summed up in the actual scenario where a “male” is convicted of rape. Whilst in prison he self identifies as female and is transferred to a women’s prison. Madness!….|
|13||Norfolk Police Service||Michael Rosen (Labour)||… I have already pledged to improve recording, including misogyny as a hate crime. Like you I believe that women should be able to access services provided on the basis of their sex. I also believe that services should be available to those who wish to access them on the basis of gender and self-identification… this can only be done properly with accurate information that records the sex of victims as well as gender, and with further engagement to understand the specific needs of different people. For example, bearing in mind that the vast majority of domestic abuse is carried out by men on women (as defined by their sex) more services delivered in line with those victims wishes would be a high priority for me.|
|14||Northumbria Police Service||Duncan Carlyle Crute (Con) OR Julian Richard Kilburn (Indy)||…I will absoloutely work towards putting a stop to that, i.e., Northumbria Police recording all crime statistics, both victim and perpetrator, by self-declared gender, rather than by sex… (DCC)…. Yes sex is a lot more useful than gender in terms of incidence and prevalence of illnesses in medicine and that seems likely in crime and safety issues as well… If the police are spending money on any organised charity groups, I’m going to be reviewing it (JRK)…|
|15||Norfolk (Again)||John Crofts (Lib Dem)||“All forms of hate crime whether racist, xenophobic or on the basis of gender is abhorrent and I would be pleased to publicly condemn any such attacks unequivocally. Hate crime can not and will not be tolerated in our communities. Everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of abuse or attack on the basis of who they are… Your 13th paragraph starting ‘ Defining misogyny by “Sex”’ summarises very well the way in which we need to move forward and I am very keen that: serial stalkers and domestic abusers of women are prioritised and proactively identified, assessed and managed by Police, probation and other relevant agencies… Baroness Williams’s announcement that police forces will record misogyny as a hate crime from this autumn is a step forward and needs to be backed up on the ground.|
|16||South Yorkshire Police Service||Alan Billings (Lab)||I commission services for victims of all types of crime. Victim Support is the charity that delivers a generic service. I also fund specific charities that support victims of domestic abuse (Independent Domestic Violence Advisers – IDVAs) and sexual violence (Independent Sexual Violence Advisers – ISVAs), in each of the four districts across South Yorkshire. During the lockdown periods I have been giving additional funding for DA services because of the rise in demand.|
|17||Staffordshire Police Service||Tony Kearon (Lab) OR Ben Adams (Con)||….Biological sex and gender identity both have profound (and in some respects different and/or inter-related) impacts on people’s lives, and we need an accurate and comprehensive picture of these impacts….|
|18||Suffolk Police Service||Elizabeth Patricia Hughes (Lab) OR Andrew Patmore (Green)||Both these Candidates accept Sex is distinct from Gender|
|19||Surrey Police Service||Lisa Townsend (Con)||…[Do I support crimes being recorded+investigated with due respect to the sex and not just self-declared gender identity of the suspect/victim?] Yes!….|
|20||Sussex Police Service||Roy Thomas Williams (Independent)||…I believe that the sex as designated at birth is the sex that should be used on all official documentation. If a person wishes to identify as anything other than their biologically designated sex at birth then that is their prerogative and i do not have a problem with this being recorded also, but to use self determined gender as the definitive classification is misleading…|
|21||Thames Valley Police Service||Alan Robinson (Indy) OR Laetisia Carter (Lab)||…This is possibly the easiest e-mail I will answer. Yes, I will record sex and gender identity…. This practice of Hate Crime – no crime, has just got to challenged. As Harry [Miller] says “If its No Crime why are the police getting involved?”. Yes, I will review our relationship with Stonewall, absolutely I will.(AR)|
|22||Warwickshire Police Service||Ben Twomey (Lab) OR Henry Lu (Reform)||… I can certainly commit to proper recording as you suggest, and intend to share the powers of the Police Commissioner so local people can set strategy and hold the police to account alongside me. Your views and input would be very welcome then, including on specific practical changes that may be needed to the Code of Practice for example. (Ben Twomey)|
|23||West Mercia Constabulary||Peter Jewell (Reform)||A person is born male or female that is a fact and what ever you do you cannot change that fact and nor should you.|
|24||West Midlands Police Service||Jools Hambleton (Indy)||… The point you raise about strip searches on women that has not been completely clarified is something that needs addressing immediately!…|
|25||Wiltshire Police Service||Brig Oubridge (Green) or Liz Webster (Lib Dem)||Both these Candidates accept Sex is distinct from Gender|
Impact of a PCC who recognizes #SexMatters
It’s important to note that a PCC Candidate who knows Women are ‘Adult Human Females’ will also understand the necessity of awarding grants and commissioning services to female only specialist services for victims of male violence, as in October 2014 the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) devolved funding for the commissioning of victims’ services to PCCs.
The widespread failure of 66% (inclusive of 23% “Fence-sitters”) of PCC candidates standing for election tomorrow to recognise the role of SEX as the key driver from both victim & offender POV for misogyny offences has implications for Women in terms of Police policy and practice, as well as initial policing response, training & performance management.
One Candidate even told us “I am informed that domestic abuse forms the largest group of crimes detected at the current time.”
This is shocking, and continued haphazard categorisation of base data of Sex for misogyny offences, can only ensure VAWG, an everyday policing issue which forms a large proportion of all police call-outs, investigations, and protection duties, becomes more entrenched.
From a resource allocation perspective therefore, a responsible PCC candidate should want to make evidence-based decisions derived from the accurate base data of SEX to tackle the cultural phenomenon of misogyny, and ensure Women feature prominently in the determination of local policing priorities, and how policing funds are spent in your town, and your counties.
We hope the words of the PCC Candidates we recommended above resonate with you, and tomorrow you use your vote to #IStoodForWomen because #SexMatters and that’s why we #AskYourPCC. Women will continue to be politically engaged beyond #LocalElections2021 to fight and defend our Sex Based Rights!