Ageism and misogyny could become hate crimes, Sajid Javid says
Ageism and misogyny could become hate crimes as part of a major legal shake-up, Sajid Javid will announce today.
The Home Secretary has asked the Law Commission to look at bringing those forms of discrimination into line with other offences based on race, religion, sexuality and disability.
Mr Javid said: “Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect - and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out.
“Our refreshed action plan sets out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of the law."
According to charities, there are around one million cases of physical, financial, psychological and sexual abuse against the elderly each year, yet only 0.3% end in criminal convictions.
Gary FitzGerald, the chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, said: “The UK now has an opportunity to join other countries including the US, Japan and Israel by making elder abuse a crime, with the sorts of punishments that the public expects.
“We must make it clear that we as a society will not tolerate these cowardly acts against some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Labour MP Stella Creasy has long campaigned for misogyny to be classified as a hate crime, and won Government assurances on a review last month.
Writing in the Telegraph today, Mr Javid described the discrimination and abuse he has received as a British Muslim of Pakistani decent.
He revealed that he had been branded a “coconut” and an “Uncle Tom” by people implying he has betrayed his own race, as well as receiving Islamophobic hate mail.
“No matter who you are, these attacks have a personal effect,” he said.
“Sadly we still hear incidents of intolerance, whether it’s a migrant being told they don’t belong, a disabled child being verbally abused, a Muslim woman having her veil torn off or anonymous keyboard cowards infecting the internet with hatred.”