Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, suggested that partners and ex-partners were more of a risk to women than “incels” – so-called involuntary celibates.
Plymouth gunman Jake Davison’s social media use suggested an obsession with the incel culture, a culture which has amassed a following online among some men who feel they are being oppressed by women due to a perceived lack of sexual interest.
Sir Peter told BBC Breakfast on Saturday: “I think there is an awareness and there is indeed a debate in policing about this sort of misogyny and this more extreme misogyny.
“I think you would have to say that when you look at the overall threat and risk to women they are more at risk from a person that is known to them, that they are in a relationship with or have just left a relationship with.
“So, I do think this is a threat, it’s a worry, but it mustn’t be taken out of context.”
PlymouthLive has launched a huge fundraising appeal to support the families and communities affected after five people were shot dead in the city on Thursday evening.
The appeal, which raised £10,000 in its first 12 hours, will fund child bereavement charity Jeremiah’s Journey to support the families and surrounding community in Keyham, where the gunman opened fire.
Show your support for Plymouth by donating here and follow the latest confirmed updates from Plymouth here
Sir Peter said giving high publicity to cases involving incels could put these thoughts into other people’s minds.
When asked how high on the list police put misogyny and misogynistic crimes, he said: “A lot of people would say not high enough. As I said, there is a big debate as to whether misogyny should be classed as a hate crime and the police should take it more seriously.
“In terms of this particular phenomena, it is about the growing awareness in policing and counter terrorism of extreme right-wing activity, which some of this falls into, and more and more disturbed people really sharing this sort of extreme material on the internet.
“The other difficult issue about this is, unfortunately, when we give high publicity to these cases, which is inevitable given the size of the tragedy, the trouble is it puts thoughts in other people’s minds.
“We must be careful we don’t build these people up too much.”
For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.