So, senior police officers seem to be rallying around a new flag just now – limited resources mean there needs to be a re-evalaution of where those resources are best directed. Recording incidents of misogyny and investigating complaints against dead people are, ahem, below the line.
I have every sympathy for police chiefs in trying to work smarter and harder with less money and increasing challenges. And whenever you prioritise one thing you necessarily downgrade, albeit perhaps on relatively, something else.
But the messaging here as well as the policy is dangerous and illogical.
Heard on the news this morning, a comment that it is important to keep on recording Hate Crimes because they lead to violence. So misogyny doesn’t? The logic – or illogic – is inescapable. Violence against women is both systematic and incidental, deeply ingrained and viciously casual. It wrecks lives, creates a toxic environment and is politically, morally, economically desperately counter-productive.
The deeply spurious nature of siphoning off misogyny from other Hate Crimes can be found in the definitions of each term. When it comes to attacks on women because they are women, they are interchangeable.
The madness doesn’t stop here. Unfortunately. I think I understand what is meant by retreating from complaints about dead people. But I’m sure the victims of, say , Jimmy Saville, felt a deep need to be heard. And the lessons we need to learn from historic cases of abuse, cannot be brought before us if they go to the grave together with the perpetrators.
So a bad day for incomprehensible news analysis. But the alarm sounded by police chiefs is real and deserves consideration. Just like the rest of our public services, they have been starved of resources and had warnings of the consequences brushed away. But austerity has always been a political choice, and in this episode we see who benefits: It isn’t women or the victims of now-dead criminals.
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