Should ‘wolf-whistling’ be a crime?

A police chief has advised women who are wolf-whistled or cat-called in the street to call 999.

Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, worries that incidents are going unreported, leaving the authorities “a bit clueless about the level of the problem”.

In a BBC interview on Thursday, the Conservative politician urged women to make emergency calls if “you’ve ever felt unsafe or felt threatened on the street”.

She spoke out after she was asked if anything is being done to tackle cat-calling.

Devon and Cornwall Police says it treats “sex or gender-based hate crimes or incidents seriously”, and encourages people to report “misogynistic acts such as wolf-whistling or catcalling”.

Police leaders are divided on the issue, with some arguing that hate crime policies make officers waste time investigating wolf-whistles and impolite comments rather than “genuine crimes” such as burglary and violence.

What are your views? Have you had experience with this type of behaviour? Is this a good use of police investigation time?

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