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Anti-catcalling cops who fine men harassing women in the street £100 'will be deployed across London'
14 July 2023, 14:39
Anti-catcalling cops are set to appear across London in a bid to fine those who harass women.
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Plainclothes cops are on guard to approach men they see catcalling women and issue a £100 penalty.
They are being tested in Redbridge, in East London, but it is expected they will end up across the capital.
The officers are out every night, walking under signs that make it clear that cat-calling is an offence.
They focus on areas where women are walking home alone at night, sending police to check they are fine and intervening when they think men could be harassing them.
Redbridge Council is running a "This Has to Stop" campaign, and said 91% of 1,834 women surveyed in the borough had been catcalled. It was the first council area in London to issue a £100 fine for the offence in December.
A total of 62% said they had experienced being followed by a man.
Chief Inspector Louise Jackson said the focus is still on educating men about not catcalling.
"When a woman feels uncomfortable, when she feels like she’s being harassed or made to feel vulnerable, we tend to have to change our direction or change our routes or head in the opposite direction," she told the Evening Standard.
"What we're saying now is this is about educational and generational change.
"If we start getting this message out now, hopefully years down the line it will become the norm.
"I'd love to see this rolled out across all London boroughs at some point. And I have no doubt that will be the case."
She now believes there is "no doubt" patrols will be deployed across London in the future.
MPs supported plans to ban catcalling, following or blocking someone's path an offence in England and Wales in March.