As part of Hate Crime Awareness week (8-15 October 2016), we wanted to outline the role that Warwickshire County Council plays in tackling the issue.
Hate crime is a key community safety priority for Warwickshire County Council. We are involved in a number of initiatives to address it along with our partners the Police, District and Borough Councils, schools and many third sector organisations.
Warwickshire has become an increasingly diverse county with many different communities settling here. Whilst reported hate crime is low compared with the national average, we are mindful that Brexit and international terrorism has given cause for concern about an emerging hostility towards migrants and ethnic minorities in the UK. It is therefore vital that we work together with our partners and communities to challenge any emerging hate crime and keep residents and visitors to our county feeling safe.
County Hate Crime Group and Action Plan
The County Council’s Community Safety Team plays a lead role in coordinating partnership work to tackle hate crime. We currently chair the County Hate Crime Group which oversees the delivery of a partnership action plan. The Group was set up in 2015 following a Warwickshire hate crime conference which concluded that a strategic partnership was needed to drive forward the work. Over the last 12 months the Group has delivered a range of actions including the establishment of Hate Incident Partnership Panels (HIPPs) in both the north and south of the county; delivery of an online hate crime training package; delivery of campaigns for hate crime awareness week; production of a gap analysis into victim needs. During the next few months the Group will oversee a refresh of the action plan taking into account a new national Hate Crime Strategy published by the Government and the recommendations of the gap analysis. A key aspect of the new plan will be designing a new partnership communications/media campaign.
Hate Incident Partnership Panels
Hate Incident Partnership Panels (known as HIPPS) have been set up in both the north and south of the county. These groups review local incidents and task partners as appropriate to tackle any emerging trends within communities.
Warwickshire County Council launched the Safe Places Scheme following a consultation with people with learning disabilities. Safe Places are community places (e.g. a shop, community centre) where you can go to get help if you feel unsafe or at risk when you are out and about. We are currently reviewing the scheme to ensure our Safe Places are in the right locations across the county.
Reporting Hate Crime
Hate crime is under-reported in Warwickshire. People often feel that it won’t be taken seriously or they may be worried about the consequences of reporting. We urge anyone affected by hate crime to seek support and report it. The police are there to help you and support is available.
You can report a crime in confidence in any of the following ways:
- Report online to True Vision
- In an emergency call 999
- For non-emergencies call 101
- Call in at a police station or stop a police officer in the street
- Contact Victim Support on 0300 303 1977
- Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
For more information, please visit our webpage www.safeinwarwickshire.com/hatecrime.
Head of Community Services
Warwickshire County Council