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Issues - My policy positions | Policing Bill, #ReclaimTheStreets and misogyny

Issues - My policy positions

Policing Bill, #ReclaimTheStreets and misogyny

Since the shocking events last week, I have received a lot of correspondence regarding the Policing Bill, #ReclaimTheStreets and wider misogyny.

As a lot of these issues cross over, I shall aim to address them all here.

The SNP will vote against the Tory Police Bill, which imposes disparate restrictions on our freedom of expression and right to protest. It is a rushed and poorly considered Bill, which would damage the rights of people across the UK.

Freedom of expression, which includes freedom to protest, should be the cornerstone of any democracy and this Bill risks stripping down those rights.

It should be withdrawn immediately.

The death of Sarah Everard is a tragedy, and all our thoughts are with her friends and family at this awful time.

The stories that my fellow colleagues, friends and women across these isles paint a truly terrible picture of the fear and lack of safety that women still face in public spaces.

Some of the scenes witnessed at the vigil on Clapham Common were deeply disturbing and highlighted the need for those in power to listen to the experiences and concern of women.

No woman should be made to feel unsafe and we all have a duty to listen, understand and do all we can to ensure women feel safe – she was just walking home.

Last year, the Scottish Government announced it was to consult on whether to create a new hate crime of misogyny.

Leading barrister and human rights expert Baroness Helena Kennedy is chairing the working group which will consider the criminalisation of misogynistic harassment.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has given that there is “no desire to dither or delay” on the potential for standalone legislation against misogyny and stressed that Baroness Helena Kennedy was keen to “move forward with pace”.

This must be a moment for real and meaningful change. We all have a responsibility to tackle the abuse, harassment, and violence that women face from abusive men every day.

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