Police must record the legal sex for crime victims and suspects rather than their self-declared ‘gender identity’, the Home Office has said.
The new “data standards”, revealed in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, began to apply from last month – but initially on a voluntary basis, to allow forces time to adjust.
Last year, at least 16 police forces shared data with the Home Office in which they recorded offences on the basis of the offenders’ ‘gender identity’ instead of their actual sex.
In a response to women’s rights campaigner Terry Stock, the Home Office said it was proposing that “basic demographic information” should now be recorded “based on questions included in the 2021 Census in England and Wales”.
FOIA response confirms that, in respect to sex and gender, @ukhomeoffice will now ask police 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. @NoXYinXXprisons pic.twitter.com/XESBgISwkr
— Terry Stock (@TerryStock8) April 6, 2022
It explained: “In respect to sex and gender, using this approach, we would ask 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.”
Welcoming the news, Fair Play for Women said: “This means for the first time we will know how many male offenders appear in the female crime stats.”
It claimed that the Home Office decision to adopt an approach based on questions in the 2021 census was as “a direct result” of the campaign group’s win in the High Court last year.
Plans to allow people to self-declare as someone of the opposite sex on the 2021 census were abandoned after the High Court told the Office for National Statistics it must only allow people to enter their legal sex rather than being able to choose their ‘preferred option’.
Fair Play for Women argued in court that the guidance could allow “sex self-identification through the back door”.