Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Police investigate wolf-whistling for the first time after woman filed complaint on builders


We've all experienced the embarrassing, humiliating and generally awful moment the sound of a wolf-whistle comes from the side of the road. Our general response is to ignore it and start walking faster.

But a 23-year-old is making headlines this week after filing an official complaint to the police after being continuously wolf-whistled at by a group of builders whilst walking to work in Worcester. 

Poppy Smart (photo posed by model) said she felt upset and humiliated by “disrespectful comments” from builders she endured every morning for a month. 

She said that on one occasion, a builder stepped out into her path and said “'morning love” before laughing.

The woman, who works as a digital marketing coordinator, said her experience "got so bad" that she considered changing her route to work, but she asked herself 'why should I do that?'. 

One morning she secretly filmed them whistling and handed the footage to the police, explaining that such taunts were “the tip of the iceberg” and indicative of a much wider problem.

"People say it is only wolf-whistling but women shouldn't have to deal with it,” she told The Telegraph. "I think more women should speak out about this behaviour – maybe it will make people think twice.”

WOman walking

West Mercia Police questioned the construction firm on suspicion of sexual harassment and CCTV of the building site was studied to identify the culprits who were given official warnings by their employers.

It is believed to be the first time police have ever investigated wolf whistling as a potential crime.

The company also contacted Smart to make an official apology, which led her to drop the charges.

Smart hopes her story will prompt others to speak out. “Personally I don't think that such comments, even if they are considered complimentary by the perpetrators, are appropriate,” she said.

"Imagine hearing someone speaking that way to your sister, mother, wife or daughter."





Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016

“Why we need to remove the term Essex Girl from the dictionary”

It's time to reclaim the term once and for all

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 20 most fashionable baby names in France

These melodic French baby names are très bien

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

Small fibs could turn you into a full-blown liar, study finds

“What a tangled web we weave...”

by Anna Pollitt
25 Oct 2016

Bake Off’s Mary Berry confirmed for brand-new cooking show

And it’s hitting our screens in time for a very Berry Christmas…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

This 'Very British Problems' Twitter account is all of us

"Best weekend activity: a really nice sitdown"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

13 Going on 30 is the latest film to get a musical makeover

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

This streaming service is so boring it will send you to sleep

Forget Netflix and chill

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016

Poldark slammed by women’s rights campaigners as “romanticising rape”

“It’s worse than if it had been a straightforward rape scene”

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

The selfie vs. the group photo: which actually makes us happier?

Time for an Instagram break?

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016