AN MP is pressing Humberside Police to treat misogyny as a hate crime.
Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn argues the move would stop sexist behaviour and reduce the risk of offenders committing more serious crimes against women later.
North Yorkshire Police announced earlier this year it would treat acts committed by men and boys against women and girls because of their gender as hate crime.
Ms Onn said: “The increasing levels of violence against women and girls in the local area is unacceptable and must be put to a stop.
“Tackling sexist behaviour earlier on could stop people believing it is acceptable and prevent more serious abuses further down the line.
“The evidence from other parts of the country shows that treating misogyny as a hate crime is making a real difference, with women ‘walking taller’ as a result.
“I am urging Humberside Police to start doing the same here.”
North Yorkshire Police was the second force to categorise misogyny as a hate crime following Nottinghamshire Police.
The move would cover behaviour such as subjecting women to sexually explicit language or sending unwanted or uninvited messages.
Ms Onn has written to Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter highlighting the dramatic rise in sexual assaults in the area.
In the past nine years, the number of sex offences in North-East Lincolnshire has more than doubled from 184 a year to 480.
Across the Humberside Police area, the number has risen from 957 to 2,233.
Her letter says: “These levels of violence against women, who are the victims in the vast majority of sexual offences, is unacceptable and the rising trends suggest a deeply concerning change of attitude in society towards women.”
It continues: “The increasing violence against women and girls has to be put to a stop, and I believe this change could make a significant difference in that endeavour.”
Speaking earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police deputy chief constable Lisa Winward said the force had made the move to classify misogyny as hate crime to “ensure the women and girls of our region feel safe to go about their daily business, without fear of being targeted simply because they are a woman”.