On the Police Crime and Commissioner Candidate Trail

The discovery of Sarah Everard’s body on the 10thof March, on a cold London night, as the Scottish Parliament debated the merits of a Hate Crime Bill which left out Sex as an aggravator in criminal offences, shocked and outraged UK citizens and re-sparked a national conversation on just what exactly could be done to keep Women safe from the prevalence and persistence of male violence.

The Prime Minister condemned the violence unequivocally and the Home Secretary reopened a Consultation in the Violence against Women and Girls, so she could hear from more women on their experiences of sexual assault, rape and murder to inform yet another  new National strategy to tackle the pernicious culture of seeming impunity for male perpetrators of violence against women and to examine why these incidents seem to happen again and again.

Given the national angst and collective grief over Everard’s high profile murder, one would think Candidates for PCC would be only too eager to boost their Women supporting credentials, and develop plans that tackled Women’s and girls’ very disproportionate victimization and men’s predominant perpetration of these offences

#GRARG decided to embark on a plan to find out the policies of PCC candidates on VAWG and to find out if they conflated sex with gender. 

With the help of some 50 volunteers, we found ourselves soaked into a world of hilarity, outrage, genuine confusion and shock as 120 Police Crime Commissioner Candidates fudged, obfuscated, and outright refused to answer 3 simple questions: 

  • What (if any) are your proposed policies with regard to misogyny offences (such as domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, femicide)?
  • If elected, would the PCC in question commit to ensuring accurate and consistent reporting on Sex hate offences such as misogyny, takes place, in addition to committing to all other offences being recorded by biological sex and not gender identity?
  • Would they ensure female dignity and safety was given due regard, in matters such as strip searches, so that only female bodied individuals carry out a strip search on female suspects?

#AskYourPCC! The Numbers:

  •  GRARG contacted 120 of the 166 of the PCC candidates for #LocalElections2021. As of the afternoon of Monday 3rd May, 2021, 52% of the 120 had failed to respond to our innocuous questions of biological reality and its importance in criminal statistics, or the necessity in preserving the dignity and safety of females during encounters with law enforcement. A further 22% (Fence Sitters) refused to give straight answers to a fundamental variable (Sex) in criminal statistics *These figures are revised at the end of this post, as further respondents got in touch after the blog publication and interactions with some Gender Critical Women and Men on Twitter!*
  • Out of 166 Candidates, only 39 had mentioned Women and/ or VAWG in their Manifestos. A measly 23%. Of that, 10% were Labour Candidates, 3% were Conservative, 4% were Liberal Democrat Manifestos, and the rest were Independent/ Other Party Manifestos.
  • In the following 10 areas, none of the Candidates standing for the role of PCC offered a single response, despite numerous chase ups and pleas: Cleveland, Durham, Dyfed-Powys, Manchester, Lancashire, Leicestershire, North Wales, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, South Wales.
  • Labour appeared the most responsive, with at least 22 of their Candidates responding to the GRARG questions. However, this number is deceptive because only 7 outrightly favour recording offences by biological sex. Many of the Candidates who had made such a big deal of mentioning Women in their manifestos or campaign pledges, simply refused to answer our questions. Labour Candidates in Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Staffordshire, Suffolk Thames Valley, Warwickshire prefer recording criminial offences by Sex, instead of Gender. 
  • Not many Conservatives mentioned Women in their Manifestos, a paltry 5 Conservatives in comparison to Labour’s 17. And only 16 Conservatives responded to our queries. However, in a surprising twist, 6 of their Candidates outrightly said they preferred recording Sex in favour of Gender. Avon & Somerset, Dorset, Merseyside, Northumbria , Staffordshire, Surrey
  • Only 1 Liberal Democrat (Norfolk) professed to prefer recording offences by Sex instead of Gender.
  • Independents and less established political candidates appeared to have much less hesitancy in discussing matter of Sex and Gender. For example, although many of us would think think twice before giving our vote to a Reform Candidate on matters of National Policy, of the 7 Reform Candidates, 53% were very blunt in their preference for recording criminal offences by Biological Sex, instead of Gender.

Conclusions: A damning veil of secrecy of the saliency of Sex is dawning in England and Wales. Even as the reality of our lives demonstrates, in the words of one Labour PCC Candidate, the “importance of accurate, comprehensive and nuanced data as a mechanism for capturing an accurate picture of what is happening ‘out there’, of changing and emerging patterns of victimisation and offending, of groups of victims and offences that are under-reported and under represented, and how all of these trends and experiences could or should be reflected in public policy and interventions to tackle social problems, allocate public resources, identify emerging challenges and risks etc”

And yet 74% (52% no Responses, a further 22% Fence sitters) of PCC Candidates adopted a Code of Omerta on the most pertinent factor (Biological Sex) in the sadly extremely common crimes against Women, which form a large proportion of all police call-outs, investigations, and protection duties. An important and highly relevant area of their PCC future job (if elected), which disproportionately impacted on women was either dismissed, or silenced in favour of Gender Extremism ideology.
“I don’t have time trying to reach 800K people to get into a debate about people choosing to change their genders” (PCC Candidate) 

This silence, which is so harmful for Women, cannot stand. GRARG decided to #IstoodUpForwomen by embarking on #AskYourPCC. On Thursday, 6th May, you too, can stand up for Women by voting for Candidates that stand for Women, and realize crimes of Misogyny (including rape and femicide) are crimes committed by Men, and perpetuated on Women, and that violence against Women is both a cause and effect of female inequality. Vote like your lives depend on it. For some of us Women, it literally does.

Coming Next: A snapshot of the responses! From biological gender, to Suzy Lamplugh, to bizarre theories about the emergence of Gender Ideology? Who do you think said the most outrageous remark? A Conservative, A Labour Candidate, A Liberal Democrat, or perhaps an Independent?

  • NB: Since publication of this post, the Labour Candidate for Leicester has been in touch, reducing number of forces with no-show candidates to 9. 26 Labour Candidates have responded to our queries with 11 Labour Candidates now in favour of recording and reporting on criminal statistics by Sex, not Gender.
  • 18 Conservatives have now responded to our queries, with 7 now stating they are in favour of recording criminal offences by Sex, instead of Gender.
  • Liberal Democrat response rate remains unchanged.
  • The overall response rate has dropped to 44% whilst the ‘Fence Sitters’ have increased marginally to 23%. Meaning 67%, a majority of PCC Candidates, refuse to answer questions on a key feature of their role as VAWG continues to impact UK society.
  • This is a dynamic situation though, which is fast changing, so please do head over to Sarah’s blog to see our latest updates and recommended PCC Candidate for Thursday’s vote! https://gcritical.org/2021/05/03/ask-your-pcc-here-are-the-answers/

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