Sexist drivers fined for catcalling women from their cars

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
Police officers speak to a man who shouted at two undercover officers. (West Yorkshire Police)
Police officers speak to a man who shouted at two undercover officers. (West Yorkshire Police)

Sexist drivers have been fined for catcalling women from their cars in a landmark initiative to make women feel safer on the streets.

In a bid to make the streets of Bradford, West Yorkshire, less intimidating, police in the area have been cracking down on anti-social behaviour.

Bradford Council has launched a new public space protection order (PSPO), which has seen officers patrolling the city's streets and prohibits drivers from causing alarm, harassment or distress.

Plain-clothes female officers have been among those taking to the streets to reassure women and gather information.

It was launched following complaints in December 2021 that women were being harassed around the University of Bradford.

Read more: Mum, 40, made boy, 15, her 'sexual plaything', then had his baby

Candles, messages and flowers left on the steps of the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, during a Reclaim These Streets vigil for Sarah Everard. Serving police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, has appeared in court charged with kidnapping and murdering the 33-year-old marketing executive, who went missing while walking home from a friend's flat in south London on March 3. Picture date: Saturday March 13, 2021.
The initiative comes after hundreds took to the streets in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard – pictured is a vigil for her in Leeds. (PA)

The initiative comes after hundreds took to the streets in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard, who was killed in London by serving Met Police officer Wayne Couzens.

Following six months of operations on Bradford's streets, 21 people have been fined for PSPO breaches, including 13 for inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls and eight for antisocial driving.

The PSPO covers the entire Bradford district and will last for at least the next three years.

West Yorkshire Police has said their patrols in the area will last for the next few months, and hope other police forces will follow their example to crack down on the unwanted behaviour.

What is catcalling?

Catcalling is shouting or harassing someone in public with sexually suggestive, threatening or derisive comments.

It can often make the person or people receiving the comments feel unsafe or threatened.

Police officers during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Wednesday February 9, 2022. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police have been patrolling the streets. (Getty)

Detective Superintendent Tanya Wilkins told ITV: "Women should be able to walk the streets without inappropriate comments being made by men and what I also find is that this inappropriate behaviour can sometimes be a catalyst for other serious offences against women."

She added: "This is not just a Bradford thing, this is a national problem.

"My aim is that other forces will look at what we’re doing as we are leading the way and I want other forces to share our knowledge so that hopefully this can have this country-wide, which will increase public confidence and raise awareness to men that this is inappropriate behaviour and it will be dealt with."

Student Meg Henderson, 20, told Yorkshire Live men of all ages have been catcalling women and girls in the area.

She said: "Most of the time it's catcalling out of a moving or a parked car where they themselves probably feel safe to do this act and know they can get away with it as there is a barrier between them and the person they're throwing their abuse at."

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