Reducing Hate Crime in Warwickshire
Warwickshire sees hate crime as do other areas of the country. Although numbers may be smaller than some places, we do not know the full scale of the problem, as people don’t always report it. What we do know is that it is a crime which targets peoples for the way they look and the way they are.
In the wake of the Gemma Hayter murder and the government’s recent strategy on hate crime – “Challenge it, Report it, Stop it” – agencies in Warwickshire are coming together to tackle hate crime, through a workshop on 23 October 2012 at the Ardencote Manor Hotel, Claverdon, Warwick.
Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire County Council, the District and Borough Councils and voluntary organisations will be working with groups supporting victims of hate crime (race and faith groups, disability organisations, and lesbian, gay, and transgender groups).
The programme for the half day will include:
- Chief Constable of Warwickshire to launch the event
- Mike Slemensek from Warwickshire Police to talk about their ‘REACH’ scheme, designed to encourage the reporting of hate crime
- Amanda Burn from Warwickshire County Council talking about the ‘Safe Places’ which is a network of public places including shops and businesses, which volunteer to give vulnerable people a safe haven to go to if they feel unsafe in their community.
- The launch of a hate and mate crime handbook, designed to give people, especially those with a learning disability, an increased understanding about how to respond to Hate and Mate Crime
- Sylvia Lancaster from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, whose daughter was murdered because she was dressed as a Goth
- A workshop to consider what actions agencies could take forward, to tackle hate crime
Victims of hate crime are particularly at risk and vulnerable, as their own identity is under attack – something they are not able to change. Therefore, hate crime needs to be tackled and not be allowed to take root nor escalate. Offenders need to be challenged and victims supported.
We all need awareness of the day-to-day experiences faced by victims of hate crime; to encourage victims to report incidents; and ensure we work together to tackle and prevent hate crime.