Voyeurism (Offences) (No. 2) Bill: 5th September 2018

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I am listening with great care, as ever, to the case that the hon. Lady is making, and I have some sympathy with it. My problem—will she help me with this?—is that I will be really troubled if we see all this offending as offences of hate against women, because much of it is genuinely in the category of sexual offending, which is often a deeper problem that must absolutely be stopped, prosecuted and so on, and sometimes it is harassment. I do not ​support the hon. Lady’s amendments; I think that we need to know more about this. Although my own view is that this absolutely needs to go to the Law Commission, I do not care where it goes, but it needs proper and full exploration so that we get this right. I am sure that she is right that some of the behaviour is misogynistic, but not all of it is.

Stella Creasy
As ever, I agree with much of what the right hon. Lady says. I think we need to say that the bigger thing she is talking about is misogyny. There are men out there who are hostile towards women and act accordingly. As a result, 51% of our population experiences harassment and a particular type of crime. At the moment, we cannot name, recognise and differentiate it, and therefore say, as we do with racially or religiously targeted hatred, that there is a premium on it. That is what the amendments would achieve.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Anna Soubry
Will the hon. Lady give way?

Sir Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead) (Con)
Will the hon. Lady give way?

Stella Creasy
I will happily give way to a Nottingham MP and then to the right hon. Gentleman, but then I really must make some progress, because I am conscious that other Members want to speak.

Anna Soubry
I rise purely to put on record that that has been done by Nottinghamshire police. I think it is the first force to do so, and we believe that the evidence is showing that it is having exactly the right effect on the police, in that they are taking this seriously and seeing it as an offence.

Stella Creasy
I desperately apologise to the people of Nottinghamshire for forgetting the “Shire”—I am not a fan of “The Lord of the Rings”. I hope the right hon. Lady will forgive me.