MISOGYNY will now be considered a hate crime by North Yorkshire Police.

Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward made the announcement in her blog on the North Yorkshire Police website on Wednesday, explaining the decision of the force to update their hate crime policy to include misogyny.

In July last year, Nottinghamshire Police became the first force to classify unwanted sexual or verbal advances towards women, including catcalling and wolf whistling, as hate crimes, in a move to tackle sexist abuse.

At the time, North Yorkshire Police said these matters should still be reported to the force, but would be considered harassment and not a hate crime.

However, DCC Winward said on Wednesday that the force would now classify misogyny as a form of hate crime, and officers would be trained in the recognition and prosecution of the offence in coming months.

The change is understood to have been made following positive results from Nottinghamshire Police regarding the number of reports received following their introduction of the definition.

DCC Winward said: "Unfortunately, the reality is we live in a world where some women have to take extra measures such as carrying rape alarms or avoiding certain routes, to avoid harassment or potential attack.

"The feeling of vulnerability is real for some women within our communities. The role of the police is to identify and protect those who are vulnerable and I hope that this move will encourage women who are subject to verbal and physical harassment simply because of their gender, to come forward and report it to us."

The crime will be defined as any criminal offence perceived by a female victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on her gender.

Another reason for NYP changing its classification is the North Yorkshire Youth Commission raising concerns about the verbal and sexual harassment of young women in the region.

DCC Winward said: "We know through our work with the North Yorkshire Youth Commission that physical and verbal harassment is an issue that is of concern for young women in North Yorkshire, with some of them experiencing it first-hand.

"I think this makes our decision even more relevant in the fact that our younger generation are having to consider this matter, that in 2017 misogynistic behaviour is still something that women are experiencing."