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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?

Should 'wolf whistling' be a crime?

941 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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mercury
5th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Certainly. Wolf whistling, avoiding the word black, accidentally touching anyone, banning personal pronouns - I'm all for it. Anything to ignore tackling trivial things like FGM, slave trafficking, Asian grooming gangs and black youths stabbing people.
SteveLogs
19th Jan 2020
0
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What a load of PC rubbish. Phwit Phwoo to all you lovely ladies out there.SLAP that`s my missus thumping my ear.
swaneldo
22nd Nov 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Quite frankly, if someone wolf whistled me, I'd probably need hospital admission for the shock! Does nobody have the ability for the witty repartee to anyone who hurts their little feelings these days. A bit of humorous and harmless banter would be marvellous to counteract all the miseries and victims we seem to have everywhere.
jeandiane
8th Nov 2019
1
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It seems as if everything is becoming a crime these days.
There are more serious issues to be addressed
BarbaraB185
8th Nov 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
People are too precious nowadays, when I was young enough to attract wolf whistles they were seen as a compliment. As for dialing 999 there aren't enough police left to respond to real and serious crimes never mind run after the non PC brigade.
ispy
1st Nov 2019
1
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Maybe men should simply stand and applaud when they see a beautiful woman. I don't seem able to manage a decent wolfwhistle these days. Passersby thought I was choking !!
Tr1sh
4th Nov 2019
0
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Clapping has been replaced by silent jazz hands although, in this situation, that could well be misconstrued 🙁
ElisabethR
30th Oct 2019
1
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For goodness sake what is wrong with people? Used to love it.......although a little embarrassed. Long long time ago now.
Could walk by a hundred builders sites now and any wolf whistling would not be for me..........sad really.
adele11
29th Oct 2019
1
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What a nonsense .......!
What is wrong with people today .......?
iestynlad
29th Oct 2019
0
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It is anti social behaviour best responded to with a water pistol but as for jamming up the emergency lines with this! some police person suggested dialling 999 - what a clown!
biker babe
29th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Don't be silly, liberal clap trap.
PollyPig
29th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Surely the police have enough to do with assaults, knife crime burglary etc, without worrying about if someone’s been whistled at.
ChristianB1
28th Oct 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
Wolf Whisteling, is this the next non-pc thing you can't do in case you risk offending. It never ceases to amaze me that some young ladies who dress to impress would get upset when their efforts are appreciated. Of course, they can dress to make themselves feel good however they wish, but get upset - really? The timidest of ladies may get embrarrased, but usually, still enjoy the praise. Some do take offence but usually respond in four letter words - choice... And I concede a builders site may be over the top.

Sadly we have become such a frightened population. Frightened to do anything in case it offends? But what happens when someone is offended - NOTHING. The sky doesn't fall, the earth doesn't swallow you up. I'm all for getting on well with people but when "Christmas" is banned, the Union Jack is not allowed, and you never know quite what to call a "non-white" person without someone getting upset, we end up saying nothing.

We leave it to those who don't give a damn what they say to take control. This malaise is across the UK. People can't be bothered to... do anything it's so much easier to leave the decisions to those who shout the loudest, even if we disagree. If you've never seen the film "V for Vendetta" look it up, it sums up this country in a very dark way - and I love this country. As for politics - don't get me started, I'm bound to "offend" someone
Suefor
28th Oct 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Personally, I have not heard wolf whistling in the streets for a long time. Unless you are the only one on the street, how do you know it is being aimed at you. If you don’t like it, ignore it, simples. This is a complete and utter waste of Police time, at a period when they are severely understaffed and there are more things, like street crimes, people trafficking, etc etc, that need their input.
PaulRad
27th Oct 2019
3
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I've always thought that a wolf whistle was meant as a compliment.
Doll
27th Oct 2019
3
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Lionel
27th Oct 2019
2
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Me too! And I was a whistler.
biker babe
29th Oct 2019
1
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georgine
27th Oct 2019
5
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I used to enjoy it. The best time was when I was almost due with first baby when the lorry driver must have been surprised to see me front the front. I am 80yrs now wish someone would still whistle me.
biker babe
29th Oct 2019
0
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Hope you don't wait too long, Georgine!
JanetS872
27th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Shame the 3% are so precious
Tr1sh
26th Oct 2019
8
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I think it is amusing that the authorities are said to be "clueless" about the level of the problem because they think that incidents may be going unreported. Perhaps they should consider that the lack of reports might indicate that most people would not regard wolf whistling or "catcalling" as so distressing that it necessitated a 999 call!
JayneF1
26th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Oh the memory of a wilf whistle....I would smile to myself hold my head a little higher and walk with just that bit more of a strut. The world has gone totally mad!!
Westminster
26th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
This is all nonsense, if a lady/man is offended by a wolf whistle, just ignore it, It is hardly life threatening is it ?

It is a compliment to be admired by the opposite sex, but when you are older, just treasured memories.
Lionel
27th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
How true, and I'm a newly 70 year old man.
JOHNEFF
26th Oct 2019
1
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Leslyjane
26th Oct 2019
2
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I agree with the others who think this is ridiculous! Any woman who feels threatened by a wolf whistle must be nuts! I was thrilled to bits the first time I had one - just wish I still got them now!
perteab
26th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Why is the fun being sucked out of life, it's hardly a physical attack and so unimportant when you think about the horrible things that happen in this world these people need to get passionate about things that actually make a difference not a flipping whistle, grow up.
Lionel
27th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
There's the problem. Such complainer don't want to, and won't ever grow up. Pity, life's a lot more fun if we don't take offence at everything.
sparrer
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Where do these silly ideas come from? A wolf whistle is a form of complement, it's the person who doesn't accept it as such who has a big problem. As for reporting it to the police that's completely selfish, wasting police time and money which could be best used to catch criminals, not someone paying them a complement. How ridiculous would they feel if instead of the police being able to attend a robbery at their home address which a neighbour/passer by had reported they were wasting police time at the station because some poor sod whistled at them?!
Hazel
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I've never heard anything so ridiculous. This is "Political Correctness" gone mad. For goodness sake, what harm did a wolf-whistle ever do.. If anything it would put a spring in your step..
Lionel
27th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Well, Hazel, I did enough whistling when I was a lad it's good to know someone enjoyed it as much as I did.
Pauline52
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I’ve never liked wolf-whistles; to me, they were embarrassing, but would I have called 999? Definitely not! If someone wolf-whistled at you in the street you could at least be pretty sure they weren’t planning to attack you or anyone else.

It doesn’t hurt anyone, and can easily be ignored. How on earth are the police supposed to catch someone anyway? You can imagine the identity parade.... 'whistle please; one at a time'! (Now that’s a picture that makes me laugh!)
Sue812
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Good grief! Whatever next?! I am a huge advocate for individual human rights but let's use some common flipping sense here!

I remember the very first time I was wolf-whistled and boy did it feel great! These things should be taken as they are meant - lighthearted appreciation of a pretty girl/woman or a good looking lad/chap!
Billythequiche
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
For heavens sake, have we lost all sense of proportion? Does every minor indiscretion have to become a "hate crime"? Would I be right in dialing 999 because some young lass had flashed her breasts or knickers? Of course not. With thuggery, drugs, knife crime and increasing car crime, the focus of he police and the judiciary must be on "real" crime and not on political correctness.
Lionel
26th Oct 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Billy, I'll put my hands up here. Fair cop!

I've had that many 'minor indiscretions' - that's the ones I can remember today - I'd be doing life without hope of parole for at least another lifetime.

Sadly most of mine were in the course of rearing livestock and necessary in a days work. Someone better call the RSPCA!
Billythequiche
27th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Ha ha, you've brightened up my day. Having been on the end of a whack from a bobbies rolled up cape and being dragged home to my furious father for being cheeky, I was a normal child of my generation. A quote heard at Sunday school. concerning "without sin" and "stones" comes to mind.
Apropos of nothing, wouldn't it be a pity if the few Nativity plays left were disrupted by the less than "wise men" in Westminster for an election?
Lionel
27th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Billy, I tickled trout in a local chalk stream as a kid. Face down, arm in water as far as it would go. Lazily passing my twelfth year in the sun ... a blow to my rump broke that reverie. It was our burly village copper, Jack Bray. He was a very well respected Dixon of Dock Green, but in a small village.

He picked me up by the scruff, dragged me off to my grand parents home.

I waited until 9pm that evening for a Victorian grand father to return from work.

I haven't tickled trout in that stream since.
Lionel
27th Oct 2019
0
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There's a message for you. Just go to the right of the screen to the little blue square with a white arrow head in it and follow the links.
Len33
26th Oct 2019
2
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Absolutely, completely, totally, and utterly ridiculous!
What brain dead moron considered it inappropriate to 'wolf whistle' in the first place?
More frighteningly, how is it that all the 'politically correct' stupidity has been allowed to become statute and people seem too scared to say anything aloud?
Yes, the plod will attend if anyone is reported for this dastardly
crime; but be unlucky enough to have uninvited guests rummage through your house and the they will be too busy to attend.
Presumably, too busy chasing the villainous wolf whistlers
and bringing them to justice!
Britain has gone to pot.
Oh, for the good old days...............not so long ago!
stmarys
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I personally think the world has now gone 'absolutely potty'. I don't know how many times in my lifetime I have wolf whistled someone, and someone has wolf whistled me! For those who think it is a crime all I can say is 'Get a life - and move on - and of course the good old saying 'get out more' comes to mind.
ArchieUK
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
My wife says that when she was 18 she regarded a wolf whistle as a compliment, now she is over 70 she would regard it as a bigger compliment.
She also said that there must be lot of idiots running the police force.
DerekA
25th Oct 2019
1
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Like we haven't got enough loonies trying to run the asylum in Westminster already.....
AlisonP24
25th Oct 2019
3
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I cannot believe the mindset of some people. I loved a wolf whistle when I was young, it is neither threatening or abusive. What next, don't dare smile at someone in case they think you are leering at them. Just plain stupid, if you don't like it tell them. Report to the police- no way, what an absolute waste of resources.
Paxton
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
Doesn't she think that police have enough to do without arresting someone for whistling?? This practice has been going of for years, and I would still be flattered if someone did it to me. Too much PC going on, where have the good old days gone???
Debbie28
25th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
The police have become so politically correct that they have lost sight of basic reality. If I was Woolf whistled I would not be offended, but There are a minority of women who think they would not wolf whistle men so it’s a gender thing. Yes it is, although I do know women that would whistle at men, but most (not all) women want to be attractive but a wolf whistle and a smile from a women is not a license to mean more.
jeanmark
27th Oct 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
It is one female police commissioner that has said this, not the police as a whole and it isn't about political correctness but concerns as to whether a female feels unsafe or threatened on the street. However, in my experience most whistlers come from men (or women) who are in a group, they rarely whistle at some one when they are alone!
MargueriteC9
25th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
No chance of a wolf whistle these days,but I certainly loved them when I was younger.Harmless fun.What a miserable whining society we have become!
SusanneJ5
25th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Grumpyoldwoman2
25th Oct 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
If someone wolf whistled after me these days (a) I’d be extremely flattered and (b) I’d probably faint !!!
Ian123
25th Oct 2019
7
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Phone 999 because of a wolf whistle?
I despair.
Police cannot summon the manpower to attend assaults and burglaries etc, yet one of their leaders suggests this course of action.
The comment was probably made to get herself out of a hole.
It sounded better than being factual and saying it would be prioritised and in effect would be to the bottom of their priorities.
Political correctness gone mad, and when you look at some appointments it is the only description that I can offer.
PatB84
25th Oct 2019
9
Thanks for voting!
People even considering making this a crime needs to get a grip and get a life, it’s harmless for goodness sake, just a show of appreciation, either take it as a compliment or ignore it. There’s enough real crime without making it up.
Gardenmad
25th Oct 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm going to report a sex crime from 1963. I got wolf-whistled by a girl and it hasn't happened since. Perhaps the police, who have nothing else to do of course, could find the perpetrator of this terrible crime so she could do it again. But then I'm old and wrinkled now, and she's now got poor eyesight ( like in 1963).
Margaret Hart
25th Oct 2019
0
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I don’t think it should be a crime but for a shy woman walking down the avenue it can be highly embarrassing. I don’t like it myself and many people consider it rude in the extreme. I think the courts have far too much to do to be wasting their time on such unimportant matters - it would be better if men were to pay women more respect at all times and remember that everybody should be allowed their privacy without any type of harassment.
Bald123
25th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
When I worked at a building site back in the 70s most of the blokes used to do this. Mind you the majority (like myself) used to get about crawling on our knuckles so there was not a lot of brain power about.
MrsPat
25th Oct 2019
5
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I wish somebody would wolf whistle at me. For the past 40 years I am just like a piece of wallpaper nobody even looks at me anymore.
IsabelA4
25th Oct 2019
8
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What a lot of nonsense, surely there are far more important ‘crimes’ for police to deal with particularly as in some areas police are in such small numbers anyway
Mrchipps1
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
I can remember when wolf whistles were seen and accepted as a compliment to either a lady or man? people did not do out of pathetic sexism or disrespect, simply as a compliment. my late wife told me that she had been wolf whistled at , and when I asked her how she felt, so told me it made her feel good and I told her that as long as it made her feel happy, I was also happy for it to happy and her accept it.
sadly it is one of the freedoms of expression that we have lost today, because of pathetic people who don't have brains big enough to understand, that many people can make their own minds up about things and do not need sad gits or snowflakes to bully them into believing that things must happen a certain way, or we are breaking some stupid unwritten laws that live in pathetic bullies heads. and must be obeyed without question on fear of prosecution by the bullies and brain affected morons, who sadly seem to have killed of common decency, mutual respect and self belief and freedoms of thought heart and mind. long life decency and mutual respect, to hell with political correctness in all forms and bullying by snowflakes. we did not serve our country for it to be taken over by bullies and despots in search of egotistical power anddomination
HappyHippie
25th Oct 2019
8
Thanks for voting!
for god sake what next, when I would younger a wolf whistle would make my day, not that I admitted it, I use to tut and frown at the guy, but inside I was smiling... a lot !
Westerngirl1
25th Oct 2019
9
Thanks for voting!
What a waste of police time to report such a thing. It’s a compliment as it was years ago. Look who’s done it and smile and walk away. Don’t be a snowflake.
Rosedeb
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
For goodness sake get a life, are we becoming so fragile that every thing is a crime, soon you won't be able to smile at people
spencer1
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
The worlds gone mad a wolf whistle was always a great thing in my day it ment you hadcaught the fellas eye now women want to be i dont know what.
Felix1
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
The world is going mad. What happened to freedom of speech. I do not care what anyone says, a wolf whistle is a light hearted boost to ones ego. There seems to be a lot of sour pusses around these days.
Edgeley
25th Oct 2019
13
Thanks for voting!
I think it should be compulsory for dishy young men to wolf whistle every grandmother they come across.
spencer1
25th Oct 2019
10
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I'm with you on this one it sure would make us grannys feel good
MrsPat
25th Oct 2019
6
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Haha Fantastic-I agree it would make my day.
Gardenmad
25th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Don't forget the Grandads as well!
sparrer
26th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Edgeley and can we report them if they don't?
Ha ha
LyndaS47
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
The country is going mad - PC extremists. I would rather our police solve real crimes.
Frenchy68
25th Oct 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
Love it if when passing a building site I get a "wolf whistle". What a compliment!! I am an athletic blonde 68 year old. Yes please keep them coming.
Ponatime
25th Oct 2019
8
Thanks for voting!
What the hell is this country coming to?
It’s a wolf whistle. You are NOT being abused.
Get on with your life.
Oggy153
25th Oct 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
They should be glad they get a whistle.Police have better things to do with real crimes.
Wilf
25th Oct 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
I could never wolf whistle as a kid. Other boys at school put 2 fingers either side of their mouth and could emit an ear piercing shriek. Me nothing-=pathetic!!
Surfer Pete
25th Oct 2019
10
Thanks for voting!
What a waste of police time - there are many more important things for our already stretched police resources to focus on!

Isn't it rather sexist to assume that it's just women who are wolf whistled by men? I'm sure it works both ways. 😉
carolemcgillivray
25th Oct 2019
11
Thanks for voting!
Oh for goodness sake. PC getting too PC for it's own good. This is ridiculous. I'd love it if someone wolf whistled at me ! and if some people (not just women !) don't like it fair enough - get over it and if you feel the need, just tell the person who wolf whistled that YOU didn't like it YOURSELF - don't try to speak for every person out there ! It's all a matter of perspective. In this age of women being strong and taking independence it seems to me that feeling threatened by a whistle is not doing the cause any good. Where will it end ? will we report someone for trying to have a chat with us at a bus stop for harassment ?
Marley444
25th Oct 2019
7
Thanks for voting!
Whatever next??? We have all survived wolf-whistling and a lot worse and have a strong backbone because of it. I do worry that we are trying to wrap everyone up in cotton wool. Our sense of humour is in danger of being totally eroded due to the PC brigade. I have to think carefully now whenever I open my mouth to make sure I observe the rules of being 'woke' a new term I have been taught recently by the younger generation. Don't get me started! One regret I have is that I have never learnt to wolf-whistle myself - never too late though LOL!
babsie14
25th Oct 2019
8
Thanks for voting!
I've never heard anything so ridiculous!! They are complaining now about a shortage of police, 999 for a wolf whistle, get a grip.
The world is going mad with all this political correctness
1
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ChristineT44
25th Oct 2019
4
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Complete waste of police. Time and would stop more urgent calls coming through ,
LanceFogg
25th Oct 2019
9
Thanks for voting!
Our society is fast becoming really stupid!! If any woman feels abused (mentally or physically), distressed, upset, marginalised or, to use the current snowflake word, concerned by being whistled at by a member of the male species then my general comment would be....
GET A LIFE!!!

Yes, there may be some out there who will feel my comment is sexist but no, I may be a touch old fashioned but that also includes holding the door open for the person behind me, saying "thank you" when I appreciate service and even someone a hug when I'm glad to see them.

Let's regain our sense of humour, teach everyone some manners and have more respect for everyone without having a bunch of militant snowflakes telling us what not to do!!
oscarsmum08
25th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
With so much serious crime on the streets, knife crime, muggings, theft, burglaries, grooming gangs, drugs and county lines, rapes and numerous others, it is wholly irresponsible to focus so much time and energy on the so called crime of wolf whistling. People who are mugged are afforded less consideration, people who are burgled or have their car stolen are lucky if they receive a visit from the police yet those crimes can have a more far reaching impact on a person's life than being wolf whistled at. They really do need to get their priorities in order!
Retiredyorkie
25th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Don't they think the police have enough to do without chasing up someone who has wolf whistled.

There are far more important crimes to investigate than this.
GrannyJack
25th Oct 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
When I was young I always accepted it as a compliment.
Wilf
25th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I think many women did!!
Munsterlander
25th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I must admit it is a bit out dated and very "Neanderthal" but I am not sure it is worth getting the Police involved. They have enough to do already as well as chasing after builders giving wolf whistles.

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