Forces are being asked to ‘consider the case’ for monitoring sexist abuse and harassment.

It means misogyny – defined by police chiefs as ‘behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman’ – would sit alongside crimes where victims are attacked for their race, religion or sexual orientation.

If agreed, abuse directed at women would be treated more seriously than comparable crimes against men, and could even lead to tougher sentences in the courts. Misogynistic incidents will include harassment in the street, verbal abuse, unwanted physical approaches, taking photographs without consent or sending unwanted text messages.