Just in time for the arrival of sex robots, the UK looks set to make it a crime to talk to women in the street, wolf-whistle or wink at attractive women, or take photographs of women in public without consent. This follows a ‘successful’ trial of the policy in the county of Nottinghamshire.
Nottinghamshire Police introduced the trial last year in which it recorded incidents such as wolf whistling, street harassment, verbal abuse and taking photographs without consent as a hate crime.
Police chiefs are due to receive a full report on the pilot scheme and other forces around the country are said to have expressed an interest in following Nottinghamshire’s lead.
If adopted it could result in offenders being treated more harshly if they were misogynistic – defined by officers as ‘behaviour targeted towards women by men simply because they are a woman’.
Assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, spokesman on hate crime at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said he believed police were ‘going to take this forward’ when he was questioned about the pilot scheme at the Commons’ women and equalities committee.
Google Trends reveals that British men are by far the most interested in buying the new sex robots when they appear on the market next month, with over 3 times as many men in the UK typing ‘buy sex robot’ into Google than any other country (USA is second).
Britain is also home to the most strident opposition to sex robots, with the most notable anti-sexbot campaigner Kathleen Richardson having actually set up a militant group seeking to have them banned.