Liz Truss vows to bring in new crime of ‘street harassment’ under beefed up help for women and girls

Liz Truss vows to bring in new crime of ‘street harassment’ and vows to increase other protection for women and girls and punish more offenders in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, saying violence ‘doesn’t have to be inevitable’

  • Street harassment offence would cover ‘aggressive and misogynistic behaviour’ 
  • National domestic abuse register covering ‘coercive behaviour’ and violence
  • Truss said: ‘Violence against women and girls doesn’t have to be inevitable’ 

Liz Truss today vowed to bring in a new crime of ‘street harassment’ under sweping plans to tackle violence against women and girls.

The Tory leadership contender also outlined plans for a national domestic abuse register as she admitted all politicians needed to ‘do more’.

Highlighting the murder of Sarah Everard and other women she said that over the last two years, the nation has been ‘shocked’ by the number of high profile murders of women, many in London.

Tougher action against petty harassment has been mooted along with action to increase conviction rates for more serious crimes since Ms Everard was brutally killed in March 2021.   

Under her plans, a standalone offence to criminalise harassment would cover ‘aggressive and misogynistic behaviour’, though there were no details of what exactly would be included.

The register, meanwhile, would include coercive and controlling behaviour and financial abuse.

Tougher action against petty harassment has been mooted along with action to increase conviction rates for more serious crimes since Ms Everard was brutally killed in March 2021.

Tougher action against petty harassment has been mooted along with action to increase conviction rates for more serious crimes since Ms Everard was brutally killed in March 2021.

Liz Truss today

Wayne Couzens

The Tory leadership contender also outlined plans for a national domestic abuse register as she admitted all politicians needed to ‘do more’ in the wake of the killing by Met police officer Wayne Couzens (right)

The Foreign Secretary said: ‘Over the last two years, our nation has been shocked by a number of high profile murders of women, many here in London. It is the responsibility of all political leaders, including us in Westminster and the Mayor of London, to do more.

‘Violence against women and girls doesn’t have to be inevitable. Women should be able to walk the streets without fear of harm, and perpetrators must expect to be punished.

‘Through increased police training, new offences, faster processes for rape victims and our domestic abuse register we will ensure victims are protected, and crimes are prevented in the first place.’

Ms Truss believes the register would break the cycle of repeat offending.

Her Government would also require convicted offenders to inform the police of arrangements with new partners and their children, and failure to do so would lead to harsh penalties.

As part of her crackdown, which builds on the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, the Foreign Secretary also pledged to accelerate the process for handling rape cases.

She would ensure cases are able to reach investigatory standards from the start to allow quicker progress through the courts.

In order to be able to respond effectively to vulnerable victims, police officers would also receive specific training.

Conservative former Home Office minister Rachel Maclean said: ‘Women and girls should be free to live their lives in safety and I know as prime minister Liz will deliver tougher safeguards for domestic abuse victims, including tagging for the most violent offenders.’

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