A freedom of information (FOI) request has revealed that the government will end police forces from solely recording self-declared gender or gender identity.
The Home Office will change how police record the sex of a suspect when a crime is reported. The move was welcomed by women’s groups who said that data can inform future policing.
According to the FOI 68559 Terence Stock, the new changes will mean that “in respect to sex and gender, using this approach, we ask the forces to record the sex (of both victims and suspects) based on what was recorded on an individual’s birth certificate or their gender recognition certificate. Separately, we intend to request forces to ask for an individual’s gender identity if it differs from their legal sex status.”
To allow time for forces to make necessary changes to systems and processes, the new data standards have been introduced in April on a voluntary basis.
Women’s rights campaigner Terence Stock, who submitted the FOI, told The Epoch Times that the change is “not a perfect solution, but it should put an end to solely recording self-declared gender or gender identity, which is what quite a number of constabularies have been doing.”
“The direction of travel feels right, but we mustn’t lose sight of the need for a comprehensive solution that fully recognises and accounts for sex (biological/natal to be clear). The Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty demand this,” he added.
“In the absence of accurate and consistent data on sex, how can the Police analyse patterns of offending, and pathways into offending, and risk? These differ on the basis of sex and, often, so does the provision of victim support services. So it’s a welcome change, but not sufficient,” said Stock.
In March, a total of 39 of the 47 forces replied to the information request from LBC that if somebody was arrested or charged with rape or sexual assault, the official record would show their preferred gender identity, rather than their sex.
Last year, the Daily Mail reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered police forces to stop recording offences by trans women as female crime statistics, prompting concerns that the practice was warping official data.
During a Committee last year, Alice Sullivan Professor of Sociology at University College London (UCL) and Head of Research at the UCL Social Research Institute argued that sex is an important predictor of outcomes across the board, with crime representing a particularly extreme example.
“We very much welcome this move by the Home Office,” Heather Binning of the Women’s Rights Network told The Epoch Times by email. The group campaigns for sex-based rights and has over 1,000 members in 60 groups across the UK.
“It is vital that the sex of both perpetrators and victims is recorded accurately so that the data can inform future policing. We are concerned at the exception made for gender recognition certificates but overall this is a positive move. Men commit 90 percent of all crimes and 74 percent of violent offences, and it is vital that this is accurately recorded,” said Binning.