Women made to feel ‘uncomfortable or frightened’ by people wolf-whistling at them have been urged to report the matter to police.
Louisa Rolfe, an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, says all incidents of unwanted attention would be taken seriously by officers.
And The Times reported she encouraged women to come forward with if faced with sexual harassment and abuse.
She said: ‘I would urge them to report to us. We do take them seriously.
‘While every incident might not have a criminal justice outcome, we want to know about patterns of offending.
‘If you said to somebody about wolf-whistling [that they should] report it to police, they might think that’s strange. But, actually, if anything is making you feel frightened or so uncomfortable and upset that you’re adjusting your daily life to avoid it, then let us know.’
She added the police needs to ‘build confidence’ with victims after the murder of Sarah Everard in Croydon and the police response to the vigil held in her memory on March 13.
Labour MP Stella Creasy recently called on the Government to make misogyny a hate crime via the domestic abuse bill.
She said to the Independent: ‘I urge every woman who has walked with keys in her hands at night, been abused or attacked online or offline to come forward and be heard.
‘This is our moment for change. Rather than telling women not to worry about violence or to stay home at night if they want to be safe, it’s time to send a message that women should be equally able to live free from fear of assault or harm from those who target them simply for who they are.’
In 2018 Police chiefs were looking at recording misogyny as a hate crime – including incidents of men whistling at women.
Forces were asked to ‘consider the case’ for monitoring sexist abuse and harassment.
It meant 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.
Nottinghamshire Police began trialling the scheme in July 2016 and were followed by a handful of other forces.