Gwent Police seeks views on whether sexual harassment should be treated as a hate crime

Members of the public are being encouraged to contribute to a Wales-wide discussion on how police forces should tackle sexual harassment.

Following Nottingham Police's decision to classify misogyny as a hate crime in 2016 - based on the levels of male to female sexual harassment in their area, and on hearing how victims responded in similar way to victims of hate crime by changing their lifestyle to avoid being targeted again - other UK forces have scrutinised their approach too.

Earlier this year, the Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru, featuring representatives of Gwent Police, received financial backing from Welsh Government to launch a public survey in an effort to dig deeper into the issue - and it is available online until 23rd July.

Gwent Police's Assistant Chief Constable Rhiannon Kirk said: "We are determined to challenge and change the culture of misogyny and sexual harassment wherever they arise in order for women to feel safe in their community and to have the freedom to make life choices without fear of sexual harassment. We want people to be able to access every area of society with confidence, including sport, public transport and the night-time economy as well as other aspects of their lives.

"I would encourage everyone to take part in the survey, as part of a broader strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. We will use the findings to help shape how we address this serious issue moving forward, and treating it as a hate crime is among the options open to us."

The survey, funded by Welsh Government and created by South Wales Police on behalf on the Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru, is available until 23rd July at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWPCOM.