Hate Crime: Homophobic and Misogynistic Attacks Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Home Office

Hate Crime: Homophobic and Misogynistic Attacks

Lord Kennedy of Southwark Excerpts
Tuesday 11th June 2019

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Home Office

Asked by

Lord Kennedy of Southwark Portrait Lord Kennedy of Southwark
- Hansard - -

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether current statute is a sufficient deterrent in preventing homophobic and misogynistic attacks.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, crimes motivated by hatred are particularly abhorrent. The Government have asked the Law Commission to review the adequacy and parity of protection offered by the law relating to hate crime. This review covers existing protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, and whether other strands, including gender, should be added.

Lord Kennedy of Southwark Portrait Lord Kennedy of Southwark (Lab Co-op)
- Hansard - -

My Lords, it is appalling to think that if you are gay or a woman, getting on a bus or walking down a street puts you at risk of abuse and physical attack for no reason other than you being who you are. I know that the Minister will condemn these attacks. But will she also speak to the Home Secretary and the Minister for Policing to ensure that they are talking to the Met Commissioner, chief constables and police and crime commissioners in England and Wales so that there is no doubt that these criminal acts will not be tolerated in 2019, that firm action will always be taken and that, where necessary, the law will be strengthened?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The noble Lord is absolutely right that I join him in wholeheartedly condemning the attacks in London and Southampton. Perhaps the London one was the most surprising of all, given London’s diversity and its generally tolerant and liberal approach; it is being widely reported as both homophobic and misogynistic. There may be other factors but that is for the court to determine. The noble Lord will know that the hate crime action plan sets out our plans to tackle all forms of hate crime. We refreshed it last year; in addition, our VAWG refresh, which was issued in March, includes sexual harassment. We are committed to conducting a study of sexual harassment.