SUSSEX Police are trying to change the way gender is recorded in crime.
The force is required to provide demographic data, including gender, to monitor crime trends.
It will now offer gender neutral options. Opportunities to capture gender identities other than male and female are being explored.
The Sussex Police website states: “The Home Office requires us to collect demographic information which they use to monitor crime trends. Therefore, we record the gender of the people who interact with us.
“Often we can only capture binary options of male or female in our systems. We are making changes where we can accommodate other gender identities and use the gender-neutral honorific ‘Mx’.”
The squad are currently at the center of a row following the conviction of serial pedophile Sally Ann Dixon.
Dixon, 58, is a trans woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for historic sex offenses she committed as a man.
Sussex Police came under fire for calling Dixon a woman. It responded via tweet that they “regardless of crimes committed will not tolerate hateful comments about their gender identity.”
READ MORE: Sussex Police have been slammed by a commissioner in a sex offender row
New Home Secretary Suella Braveman was among several high-profile figures who condemned the force, saying it should “focus on catching criminals, not policing pronouns.”
The force’s Chief Inspector, Katy Bourne, echoed the criticism, saying: “I am so disappointed that a successful prosecution by Sussex Police of a despicable child molester has been completely overshadowed by the aftermath of an unnecessary and unmusical tweet. ”
Her office said she told the home secretary the force had “lost something of the conspiracy by voicing opinions that appeared to ignore or demean the victims’ experiences in this case.”
Sussex Police have since apologized, saying: “An earlier response to a comment on Twitter was not in our usual manner; We apologize and have removed the comment.
“We recognize the right of the public to express themselves freely within the limits of the law.”
The force did not respond to a request for comment on how it intends to record gender.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22891369.sussex-police-introduce-gender-neutral-records/?ref=rss Sussex Police introduce gender-neutral records