As I said, the Government currently have no plans to make misogyny a hate crime. The reason is that we have consulted the legal experts on that subject. The Law Commission concluded that the proposal could do more harm than good in our efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, and I am sure that the hon. Lady would not wish to see that happen.
I thank the Minister for that, but the reality is that more than 80% of 18 to 24-year-olds have already experienced sexual harassment in a public place. If the Government were to legislate, it would allow the police to act. Does she not agree that, more importantly, it would also send a message out to people across this country that misogyny, sexual harassment and bullying based on gender is unacceptable in every sector of life?
No, I do not agree, and that is not what the Law Commission said. It said that that would be actively unhelpful and harmful to our efforts to tackle exactly the issues that the hon. Lady mentioned. I am afraid that I am at risk of repeating myself: we want to bring these perpetrators to justice and we are tackling this issue at the source. Making misogyny a hate crime would make it more difficult to prosecute all forms of hate crime, including those related to race and ethnicity.
I fear that I am going to ask the Minister to repeat herself, because the Government’s response to persistent violence against women and girls has been to support the Path Community app, which asks women to protect themselves by sharing journeys home, and to launch StreetSafe, which asks women to report where they feel unsafe. That yet again puts the onus on women when they are not the problem. Last year, a study of sexual aggression in UK male university students found a correlation between misogynistic views and a proclivity for sexual violence against women. What message does it send that the Government’s response to persistent violence against women is, “There’s an app for that.”? I urge the Minister, please, to tackle the root cause and work with the Home Office to make misogyny a hate crime.