Wolf-whistling is now a 'hate crime' in England

Nottinghamshire Police has become the first force in the country to classify misogyny in this way

Wolf whistling and catcalls are to be classed as 'hate crimes' by police in the UK, in an effort to tackle sexist abuse.

Nottinghamshire Police has announced an additional category that will apply to a range of incidents reported to officers, from street harassment through to unwanted physical approaches.

Working in partnership with Nottingham Women’s Centre, the force has become the first in the country to recognise misogyny as a hate crime.

Chief Constable Sue Fish said: “I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms. It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women.

“What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing.

"Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation."

The term 'misogyny hate crime' refers to "incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman."

The UK police gave examples of this behaviour which includes unwanted or uninvited sexual advances, physical or verbal assault, unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement, use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

Domestic abuse is not included within the scope of 'misogyny hate crime' as the force deals with it comprehensively as part of a separate procedure.

It is hoped the new rules will encourage more women to come forward and report offences.