Hate Crime: Homophobic and Misogynistic Attacks Debate

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Department: Home Office

Hate Crime: Homophobic and Misogynistic Attacks

Lord Paddick Excerpts
Tuesday 11th June 2019

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Home Office
Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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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.

Lord Paddick Portrait Lord Paddick (LD)
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My Lords, racially and religiously aggravated offences carry a maximum penalty that is one step higher on the sentencing ladder than the same offences if motivated by homophobia, transphobia or disability hatred. The Conservative Party, in both its 2015 and 2017 manifestos, said that it was going to review this. Why are the Government presiding over a situation where homophobic, transphobic and disability hate crime are treated as being less serious than race or religious hate crime?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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My Lords, the noble Lord will know that I do not think they are in any way less serious. However, I acknowledge the concerns over the parity of different strands of hate crime within existing legislation. That is precisely why we asked the Law Commission to conduct a full review of hate crime legislation and where there might be gaps. I know that it will consult widely later this year and make recommendations to government on this next year.