Crimes committed in England and Wales by men who identify as female are being recorded as offences perpetrated by women and distorting official statistics, it has been revealed.
At least 16 police forces record offences according to offenders’ ‘gender identity’ instead of biological sex. The data is later shared with the Home Office and contributes to official statistics.
The issue has been highlighted by the case of Zoe Watts, a man previously called Kyle, who was recently imprisoned for offences, including the possession of illegal weapons and constructing a bomb.
Lincolnshire Police, which previously employed Watts, recorded his crimes as being committed by a woman because of his self-declared ‘gender identity’.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP, who has raised the issue in Parliament, said: “Data based only on self-identified gender does not give accurate data” and “where offences are very rarely committed by women, the addition of one or two people can have a significant impact”.
She added that such information can result in “unreliable and potentially misleading data in reporting”.
Earlier this month, the High Court ruled that men who identify as women are legally permitted to be housed with female prisoners in England and Wales.
A female prisoner, known as FDJ, had challenged a Ministry of Justice policy which allows women’s prisons to house men who wish to “permanently” live as if they were the opposite sex, irrespective of whether they have taken any medical or legal steps.
Although the judges conceded that it can have a “significant” psychological impact on female prisoners, they determined that the policy is lawful and that a specialist panel should decide the placement of male inmates on a “case by case” basis.