Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has called for urgent action to tackle decreases in arrests for indecent exposure perpetrators. Mrs Hobhouse argues that this is the latest example of the justice system failing women and girls.
This comes after a recent report from the Victims Commissioner revealed that just 1% of rape cases made it to trial. Mrs Hobhouse has tirelessly campaigned against violence against women and girls, calling for misogyny to be made a hate crime, public sexual harassment to be made a specific offence, and for immediate action to tackle the misogynistic culture that permeates schools and throughout society today.
Figures from a Freedom Of Information request to Avon and Somerset Police show that this year’s number of cases of indecent exposure are the same as last year, but arrests and charges have decreased. The analysis also found that 74% of victims of indecent exposure this year were female, with males the main perpetrators.
The Bath MP says that this is another manifestation of violence against women and girls driven by misogyny and has called for answers from both Mark Shelford, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Government.
Earlier this year, The Guardian revealed an ‘epidemic’ of flashing and other forms of indecent exposure, with police in England and Wales recording over 10,000 cases last year but taking fewer than 600 people to court.
Commenting on the story, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said:
“It is unacceptable that arrests and charges have decreased whilst cases remain the same. This is another example of the justice system failing women and girls. I will be taking this up with Mark Shelford and Avon and Somerset Police. We must all make our communities safer for women and there must be answers.
“Ultimately, this is another manifestation of violence against women and girls and the figures don’t even count cyberflashing, which is not currently illegal. I am fully supportive of the campaign to make cyberflashing illegal and believe that this comes alongside making misogyny a hate crime, making public sexual harassment a criminal offence, and taking immediate action in schools that would kick start the cultural change needed to prevent violence against women and girls.”