A SOUTHEND councillor says a so-called "incel" movement is a threat to women - following urgent warnings from a former chief prosecutor.

Kursaal ward councillor Matt Dent has agreed with warnings by Nazir Afzal that men in the so-called movement needed to be identified.

Social media use by gunman Jake Davison, who killed five people in Plymouth before turning the weapon on himself, showed he appeared to have an interest in the “involuntary celibate” culture.

The misogynistic ideology has amassed a following online among some men who feel they are being oppressed by women due to a perceived lack of sexual interest.

It has prompted a discussion over whether or not incel violence should be treated as a hate crime, with experts disagreeing on the way forward.

Mr Dent said: "I couldn't agree more that the so-called 'incel' movement needs to be urgently and directly addressed. There is an epidemic of misogyny and violence towards women and girls in this country, and it needs to stop.


"As a strong believer that men need to be on the front lines of ending violence against women, I have taken the White Ribbon UK promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and am a White Ribbon ambassador."

Mr Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for the North West told BBC Breakfast on Saturday there were 10,000 people with incel views like Davison in the country.

He said: “How many of them, a small minority, are a threat?

“We have to recognise that we have a responsibility to identify them and share that information.”

Mr Afzal added: “We have now seen posts on various social media sites which paint a picture of somebody that has a very low opinion or had a very low opinion of women, who seemed to have a belief he was entitled to do whatever he wanted to, a real expectation that women were some kind of lesser being.

“That kind of extreme misogyny of the type we have seen here and in terms of the incel community is a threat to all women and, ultimately, to all our communities.”

The Government is likely to consider treating so-called “incels” as terrorists if there are more attacks like the Plymouth shootings, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has said.