Police need to concentrate on catching criminals, not spending time logging incidents that aren't crimes such as misogyny, according to one of the country's top officers.
National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) chairwoman Sara Thornton says she is also "unconvinced" about using resources to investigate allegations against people who have since died.
The former Thames Valley chief constable has called for a "refocus on core policing" and says forces are "seriously stretched" at a time when homicide and knife-related offences are rising, while the number of arrests in England and Wales has halved over the last decade.
While the number of some offences has gone up, there has been a 19% real-terms decrease in funding for forces and a fall of more than 20,000 in officer numbers since 2010.
At a conference hosted by the NPCC and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, Ms Thornton said: "We are asked to provide more and more bespoke services that are all desirable – but the simple fact is there are too many desirable and deserving issues.
"For example, treating misogyny as a hate crime is a concern for some well-organised campaigning organisations."
Ms Thornton said that while investigating gender-based hate incidents was not a bad thing to do "they just cannot be priorities for a service that is over-stretched".
"I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make more records of incidents that are not crimes," she added.
Last month the Law Commission said it would look at whether offences motivated by the dislike, contempt or ingrained prejudice against women or men should be treated as a hate crime.
It will also consider if prejudice based on age or hatred of certain subcultures, including goths or punks, would be a hate crime.
Ms Thornton also questioned the value of some historical investigations saying that they "matter very much to some but they undoubtedly take resources away from dealing with today's crime today".
"While I understand those who have been harmed seek answers, I remain unconvinced that it is appropriate to commit significant resources investigating allegations against those who have died."
Addressing the same summit, Home Secretary Sajid Javid acknowledged forces were "feeling stretched" and pledged to ensure they have the resources they need in 2019/20.
But security minister Ben Wallace told Sky News that police having to prioritise which crimes to focus on was a reality of the job.
"Policing has never been able to investigate every single thing, all police leaders have always had to prioritise – that is the nature of policing," he said.
"I would love to stop organised crime in this country and we've got a strategy, but I know that as long as there are human beings, businesses and enterprises, there will be crime.
"Any home secretary or minister who doesn't say this isn't telling the truth.
"All our police chiefs in our 43 forces across England and Wales should have the freedom, alongside the elected police and crime commissioner, to set the priorities that they think are right for them.
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"All the professionals and members of the public I meet are most concerned about what harm crime is doing to them, their families, communities and businesses, so that means in different parts of the country we have different priorities.
"Government should not interfere in those police chiefs having the freedom to decide."