Green Party mayoral candidate Zoë Garbett pledges to make misogyny a hate crime

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Zoë Garbett has pledged to adopt the model of Nottinghamshire so that the Met Police treats offences motivated by a hatred of women as hate crimes.

The Green Party’s mayoral candidate has pledged to ensure offences motivated by misogyny are treated as hate crimes if she is elected next month.

Zoë Garbett was joined by Green London Assembly candidates on Thursday morning to talk to women and non-binary people in Stratford about their experiences of safety or unsafety on the transport network.

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Speaking to LondonWorld Ms Garbett said: “We’re hearing lots of things from people today [such as] better signs and navigation so people can get around. But also people just feeling safer and that they’ve got people they can turn to if anything goes wrong.

“What I’m shocked to have found out is that the Met Police does not record when a crime has been motivated or worsened by the hatred of women, sometimes referred to as misogyny.

“That means when a crime is committed against a woman the police aren’t actually recording if that was motivated by hatred against women and that’s what I think the Met need to be doing. 

“They need to be reporting that, looking into it and making sure that they’re then addressing it because if you’re not counting it you’re not taking it seriously enough. That’s one of the most important differences I would make as mayor of London.”

The Met Police has not responded to a request for comment.

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Green Party mayoral candidate Zoë Garbett at Stratford stationGreen Party mayoral candidate Zoë Garbett at Stratford station
Green Party mayoral candidate Zoë Garbett at Stratford station | Lynn Rusk

As well as looking to the model adopted in Nottinghamshire to treat such offences as hate crimes, the Greens pledge to institute an “urgent” victim-led review of sexual violence in London.

They would integrate this into all training of police and Transport for London (TfL) staff, and commit that the initiatives from the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Consortium are fully funded to meet the needs of survivors of violence and those facing domestic violence.

The Labour incumbent, Sadiq Khan, who launched his manifesto last Thursday, has pledged to fund a free independent legal advice pilot service for survivors of rape and serious sexual offences of re-elected.

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Other parts of his 10-point plan include a promise to expand his work tackling misogyny in London’s schools and to continue creating safe accommodation for domestic abuse survivors.

Mr Khan said: “Violence against women and girls in our country, including London, is still too common. It remains an epidemic and something as a society we still have to do far more to tackle… Key parts of my plan include directly supporting victims and survivors with free new legal advice and safe accommodation. Too often our complex legal system leaves women feeling alone and unsupported – this must come to an end.

“And in directly funding new outreach and training in schools, we’ll be addressing attitudes towards violence and misogyny from an early stage.”

Mr Khan’s Tory rival, Susan Hall, has said the mayor “just isn’t listening” to women about their experiences of harassment and assault, and that she “will get a grip of crime and make our city safer”. She has promised to appoint a women’s commissioner who will focus on improving women’s safety.

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Ms Hall said last week: “Sadiq Khan failed to recruit more than 1,000 police officers. Women don’t feel safe on our streets. I have a plan to fix that. I will recruit 1,500 more police officers and open two new police bases in every borough to make our streets safer.”

The Tory candidate revealed plans to extend the Night Tube to include the Hammersmith and City line, with further lines to follow “when feasible”. She said the move will help Londoners get home safely at night.

The Liberal Democrats’ candidate, Rob Blackie, has pledged to clamp down on sexual crimes in the capital by establishing a sexual offences unit.

“Under Sadiq Khan’s leadership the police are catching sexual offenders half as often as when he became mayor,” said Mr Blackie. “This record is shameful. Victims are denied justice. Survivors denied closure. And it’s the criminals who go on to offend again and again.

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“That’s why I will establish a new sexual offences unit for London. Backed by a new mayoral strategy for violence against women, the new unit will be tasked with implementing the recommendations from the Operation Soteria review and will have a clear mission - to double the number of sexual offenders caught in the capital.”

The London mayoral election is on Thursday May 2, along with election of members of the London Assembly.

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