20 years of challenging hate #3: Hate Crime & Mental Health – Stuck in the middle

Stop Hate UK Advocate James Gibbs talks about the intersection between Hate Crime and Mental Health, and the importance of holistic practice.

It was sunny outside when I took the call. A woman, whose location shall remain unknown to protect her anonymity, had contacted our helpline to report ongoing abuse and harassment she had experienced from neighbours.

“I am the most hated woman in the street” she told me with absolute certainty. Her neighbours had even told her so to her face, and she spent over thirty minutes explaining how almost ten years of hatred had led her to this belief.

She told me how she had been the victim of regular verbal abuse, noise nuisance and malicious allegations and that as far as she could see; the only reason for this victimisation was the fact that she had diagnosed mental health problems – “the local nutter” as people referred to her.

“I used to like the sunshine, but I don’t go out of the house anymore for fear of what they will throw at me next”

We take a lot of calls from people with mental ill health.

Most recent Government statistics show 1,985 reports of disability Hate Crime during 2013-14.  In the same year, Stop Hate UK took 459 reports where disability was a motivating factor.  A large proportion of these were related to mental illness, and whilst every one of these people will have their own experiences and their own stories, it never ceases to amaze me how many similarities there are.

One of the most striking similarities that I have seen working on the helpline is illustrated in the alarming frequency with which we take calls from people like the lady above; targeted because of mental ill health, victimised by those around them, but further victimised by a system and a culture that keeps them stuck in the middle for years on end, constantly searching for an outcome that both reflects the impact of their mental illness and tackles the hatred they have experienced.

Chih Hoong Sin talks very openly about the ‘importance of reframing hate crime beyond its narrow criminal justice focus’, and highlights mental health as a particularly important point of intervention.

My experience as an advocate with Stop Hate UK would lead me to echo this sentiment, and it is a philosophy that has been adopted by the charity throughout its 20 years of challenging hate; the importance of pursuing holistic approaches to Hate Crime and support for victims, combining criminal justice and positive action with social justice, understanding and empathy.

Far too often, people and agencies find it easy to dismiss the reports of somebody experiencing Hate crime that also experiences mental illness. Reports of Hate crime can often be seen as a manifestation of the victim’s mental illness. The woman labelled “most hated woman on her street” had been reporting incidents to the police for over 10 years when she spoke to our helpline. She also had the support of a psychiatrist and Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN). So why did she pick up the phone to us?

Every person’s experience of Hate Crime will be different and every person’s experience of mental illness will be different, and perhaps the trick we are missing lies within this melee of individual experiences.

The criminal justice system has developed tremendously over recent years, and from the grim issues highlighted in the Macpherson report there have been a lot of improvements, including recognising the importance of perception in Hate Crime, developing a strong focus on the needs of victims and working towards established practice in Hate Crime cases. Put simply, the criminal justice system understands Hate Crime.

Yet as budget cuts lead to more and more police time being spent in response to mental health crises, the reality in most cases is that police do not have the expertise or adequate time, to effectively support people living with mental illness. It is not their job.

Health & social care has also seen significant improvements, with the closure of long stay institutions and a move towards care in the community cementing the importance of person centred practice.

Yet, notwithstanding the ever increasing strains put on the NHS and local governments, Chih Hoong Sin also highlights that Hate Crime is an issue that remains relatively new to health & social care providers. Whilst work continues to address this, the truth is that at the moment there are a lot of overworked individuals and overstretched services for whom Hate Crime is not a priority.

This mismatch between criminal and social service’s understanding and approach to Hate Crime and mental illness, ultimately means that people who require the support of both can often feel stuck in the middle. Despite increasing efforts of partnership working, the reality for a lot of people we speak to can often feel uncoordinated and ineffective, leading to loss of confidence in the police and exacerbation of their mental illness.

Chih Hoong Sin identifies that within health & social care, ‘holistic care requires seamless care pathways, with effective referrals and signposting’.

Holistic support for victims of Hate crime is no different; the ethos of combining criminal justice with social support, in a way which recognises the impact of mental ill health in the context of Hate Crime, is what will ultimately lead us all to provide better support for people who find themselves victims, targeted because of mental illness.

It is an ethos that runs through everything we do here at Stop Hate UK as we support people through the criminal justice system, and an approach we continue in our work with the woman who was taunted as the “local nutter”.

She may have been stuck in the middle, but we have been right there with her, and it is my hope that as agencies continue to embrace this holistic culture, one day she will be able to enjoy the sunshine again.

 

 

You can read Chih Hoong Sin’s thoughts on the importance of Hate Crime within health & social care here:

http://www.opm.co.uk/blog/towards-a-hate-crime-care-pathway-lessons-from-leicestershire/

20 years of challenging hate #2: Canon Mark Oakley

20 years of challenging hate: LGBT – showing respect for all and working together.

Canon Mark Oakley (with introduction by Claire Tabert)

Just a few months into my role as a Stakeholder Relationships Coordinator with Stop Hate UK I have met a number of people from different organisations, participated in panel discussions, attended training sessions, delivered training and helped promote a new helpline service for LGB and T people who have experienced some form of Hate Crime. I’m working with, and meeting, some really fantastic, interesting people who are all committed to supporting people who have experienced Hate Crime. One such person, is Canon Mark Oakley, the Chancellor at St. Paul’s Cathedral who talked about his participation in National Hate Crime Awareness Week and shared some thoughts about the retention of one’s dignity and respecting others. He said

“Three years ago I was part of a small team that planned a short, reflective service in St Paul’s to mark the beginning of Hate Crime Awareness Week. I knew that many of the people attending would be wondering whether the church was on their side or not. Members of the Jewish and Muslim communities came, as did LGBT folk, men and women from ethnic minorities as well as people living with disability. I had been very keen to shape up such a time together in the cathedral to highlight the effects of hate crime and the persistent need to combat it. But the stories I heard from people that evening shocked me more than I would ever have imagined – and fired me up more to do all I can with groups such as Stop Hate UK can to ensure better education on the relevant issues as well as encouraging the reporting of such crime to bring it to justice. I can still see now the man in the wheelchair crying as he told me how he had been tipped out of his chair in the street three times over 12 months by groups of drunk men telling him to ‘stand up for yourself’.

I am pleased that the service has continued to take place each year since. Sadly such events are needed even more in the current climate not least to remember the hate crimes that continue to be committed against LGBT people. Yesterday the Albert Kennedy Trust published its LGBT Youth Homelessness national survey which reports that around a quarter of homeless young people in the UK are LGBT. Tim Sigsworth, the CEO of the Trust, said that ‘after 25 years witnessing the rejection and abuse of LGBT youth just for being brave enough to come out to their peers and family, this report is a much needed call for government, housing providers and everyone concerned with young peoples’ wellbeing’. The report makes important recommendations to government and local authorities and the Trust contributes its own assistance to the situation through its excellent Purple Door housing projects in London and Manchester designed to take LGBT young people out of danger and off the streets. They stay in a safe house for approximately 21 days whilst specialist workers provide a bespoke intervention which covers longer-term accommodation, support, mentoring, advocacy and therapeutic care. Such safe, positive spaces are needed for them to regain their self-esteem and autonomy.

This survey also reminds us that hate can first be experienced in the home. For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people one of the issues we have to face in life is shame, because we grow up intuiting or being told from all angles that we are not right, or not loveable, or not acceptable – sometimes by our parents or siblings, often in the playground, maybe by our friends, then later – colleagues, politicians, priests. Many of us struggle with this shame. Shame is not guilt. Guilt is I have done something wrong. Shame is I am something wrong. One of the reasons I believe the church should be leading the way against hate crime against LGBT men and women is because it has helped to contribute to that sense of shame born in hatred in the first place. Many Christians have given the world a language with which to hate LGBT people, with words such as ‘abomination’ and the idea of unnaturalness and perversity. It is therefore vital that the church passionately seeks to undo what it has helped to create by admitting its past errors and developing a more authentic spirituality of speaking up for others, particularly the scape-goated, vulnerable and members of various minorities. Christians must uphold the dignity of each and every person without apology and at whatever the cost. That is why I am honoured to be working alongside Stop Hate UK, Tell MAMA, the Human Dignity Trust and 17-24-30 No to Hate campaign and I’m pleased that so many other Christians and people of faith are also working hard in differing ways to end hate based on discrimination in homes, schools, workplaces, faith communities and localities. It was excellent to see the Archbishop of Canterbury refer to anti-semitism recently as a blasphemy because like all hate crimes it violates the divine image in each and every human being.

In my welcome to the Hate Crime Awareness Week service last year I finished by telling people about the Dean of St Alban’s:

‘His name is Jeffrey John and if you have heard of him you will know that he is someone who has borne a lot of hate and discrimination for being gay, as has his partner Grant. Jeffrey once spoke on the radio and said this: “I have a memory from my schooldays that still haunts me. One year we had a boy in our class – I’ll call him David. He was a pathetic kid, weedy and rather effeminate. And his life was hell. Children can be incredibly cruel to anyone who’s different, and David was a brilliant target. He was beaten up, he got his lunch thrown away, he got called girl’s names, and he always sat on his own. I can hardly think of the misery that kid must have gone through. Now I never beat him up, I never called him names; the fact it was happening used to churn my stomach. But I never said or did a thing to help him. Because of course I was terrified that if I did, they’d turn on me too, and I’d get the same treatment. And of course that’s how it works, in so many bad situations in the world – and yes, in the Church too. We know what’s happening is wrong, but we keep our heads down, and hope someone else will do the martyr bit and face down the bullies with the truth”. To face down the bullies with the truth – the truth of each one of us here and those we love and represent – the truth that we are here, wanting to live our lives, wanting to love and work and engage and socialize in freedom and peace. That’s why we come together and why a candle will burn here throughout this week, challenging hate with light’.”

Canon Mark’s words have given me cause to reflect; they serve as a daily reminder that every time hate-motivated words and actions are directed at people, the impact on that person/group of people can be devastating and sometimes last a lifetime. With hate incidents being reported in the news on a weekly basis and numerous calls being made to our helpline it is more important than ever that we work together with other organisations on commemorative events to remember those who have suffered, promote our support services such as the new LGB&T helpline- 0808 801 0661 – and identify new ways of working innovatively and collaboratively so that anyone who is subjected to hate can access support, information and advice easily and in a timely way.

 

20 years of challenging hate #1

 

20 years of challenging hate; the beginningslogan red black

Welcome to my first blog…ever!!

Stop Hate UK is celebrating 20 years since its conception. I am Rose Simkins, Chief Executive, and I thought one of the ways we could mark our 20th year would be writing a monthly blog throughout 2015 so that you can get a feel for our organisation, the people who work within as staff and volunteers, the partners we work with and the people we serve or work for. We hope to blog each month around the 20th although as you can see we’re starting a little late

A couple of weeks ago I met with Harvinder Saimbhi, now Head of Anti-Social Behaviour at Leeds City Council and decided that her relationship with our charity was probably a really good place to start the story as it was her who initially created the project which later evolved into Stop Hate UK. It wasn’t hard to engage Harvi in a chat about the ‘birth’ of Stop Hate UK as she looks back at the early years with pride. 20 years ago the focus of Hate Crime generally was around supporting victims of race Hate Crime.

Harvi continues

” I’d worked previously in the social housing sector but saw the position of Equality Officer for the council and decided to apply. I remember thinking it was a very specialised job and did I really want to do it. However, a couple of incidents occurred around that time which persuaded to accept the job. My children were in primary school at the time; my eldest child, who had long hair and was wearing a turban experienced name-calling at the school; I went into school and remember feeling very frustrated because the school didn’t appear to recognise neither that this behavior was racial harassment nor the impact it was having on my child. Not too long after that it was the Christmas holidays and my youngest son came downstairs covered in white powder all over his face. I asked him why he’d done this and he answered ‘Well, they won’t call me brown anymore because I’ve got white powder on my face’. At that time, it had got personal I thought I could change the world and I developed a real passion to tackle racial harassment. I did not want anyone feeling that their identity or the colour of their skin made them feel inferior; this is where my journey began.

Initially the job was very policy orientated; the intention was to work within schools. The racial advisory group, within Leeds City Council, had obtained Section 11 funding which the council matched. The year was 1995, approximately 2 years after the murder of Stephen Lawrence. I was given an opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper; employ staff, agree terms of reference and develop a project that would tackle racial harassment. I remember Councillor Hutchinson, who was very passionate about Hate Crime and the project, driving matters forward; suddenly, everything came together like a jigsaw puzzle.

I talked to a lot of victims of Hate Crime about what was lacking about the services they needed, and accessed, following their experience. I was creating a service, Leeds Racial Harassment Project (LRHP) which attempted to rebuild victims’ confidence, understand their issues and provide somebody who would challenge on behalf of them. We starting building links into local communities; delivered training to the Police about the differential impact on victims of Hate Crime, as opposed to victims of other crimes and the emotional support those victims therefore needed. We introduced CCTV cameras, an advocacy role, a basic helpline and a number of schools. We challenged the police and other agencies when they didn’t deal effectively or appropriately with victims. Delivering training 20 years ago was challenging and sometimes, it was like walking into a lion’s den; we were trying to get the message across that it was the victim’s perception of the race Hate Crime or incident that was important. Recommendation 12 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – ‘a racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’ helped moved the agenda forward. The recognition that the emotional harm and impact goes deeper than for victims of other crimes led to tailored services providing more appropriate support. The McPherson report (1999) had criticised the Police stating there was a lack of community engagement; some officers at the time were quite defensive but all agreed it was ‘good’ that these criticisms had been highlighted and were now on the table to be acted upon.

By 1999/2000 it was decided that the project, which was still managed by the Council, would be better placed to attract alternative funding (the Section 11 funded was coming to an end) if it became an independent charity; and the Council’s Equality Team had started to talk about the different ways in which the agenda of supporting victims of Hate Crime could be taken forward.

After taking the LRHP through this process I decided it was time to move on although I still feel attached to my ‘baby’ 15 years later! I still feel so proud about the foundations I laid; I had developed a staff team who worked with passion and commitment and together we helped make a real difference to the way in which Hate Crime victims in Leeds were listened to and supported. I have watched as the charity has since grown from strength to strength and was recognised as a model of good practice by the Home Office. You’ve(Rose) built on those foundations and developed a sustainable model. In my current role, I’m still supporting the charity by facilitating joint working relationships between Stop Hate UK and the police, local authority, community safety teams and local third sector agencies so that victims of Hate Crime receive the best service they possibly can. I am very pleased to say that, over the past 20 years, the approach to tackling Hate Crime has developedimmensely and victims of Hate Crime in Leeds receive a good service from the Police, Council and Stop Hate UK who are all working closely with each other. My biggest concern about the project becoming a charity was around the insecurities of funding – it’s to Stop Hate UK’s credit that they are alive and kicking and in such a robust position today.”

It was interesting hearing Harvi talk so passionately about LRHP because I too share her passion. I started working for the charity in 2006, six years after Harvi had left. I’d previously managed a housing support service for people seeking asylum. As part of that, we were also a hate incident reporting centre. The service was unfortunately very ‘successful’ in that we received significant numbers of reports of Hate Crimes and incidents; we were subsequently one of the members of a Hate Crime partnership in Kirklees. When I saw the job opportunity for Chief Executive at LRHP I didn’t hesitate to apply as my interest in Hate Crime had been well and truly kindled by that time.

At the time of joining, a number of different things were happening; LRHP were about to run a short, 6-8 week pilot for a 24-hour Hate Crime helpline and I was invited straight down to London to discuss the pilot; the idea being that LRHP coordinate the helpline on behalf of all the West Yorkshire local authorities.

Previously, the helpline had provided an answerphone service; people often left indecipherable messages because they were distressed, hung up, or left clear messages but no contact details; clearly there was an opportunity to improve the service level for callers. The pilot therefore introduced a ‘live’ service, 24 hours a day and no matter what time a caller rang they would have access to a ‘real’ person. It ended up becoming a six-month pilot across the Yorkshire and Humber region. This was the first time I met Doreen Lawrence; the idea for a 24 hour helpline was originally her idea; it was a really exciting and interesting project to walk into at the time.

I had a number of meetings with funders, including Leeds City Council (Equalities) and we decided that we would extend our remit across all the 5 monitored strands of Hate Crime – Disability; Faith and Religion; Gender Identity; Race, nationality and ethnicity; and Sexual Diversity. We kept the existing 0800 number and extended the service to include receipt of calls from victims across all 5 strands. Operationally, this was the beginning of a difficult time for the organization as a number of workers and volunteers needed to be trained to support people around numerous issues on the 5 strands; we needed to draw up a 24 hour rota, develop branding and promote the service as widely as we could. It’s the branding that we developed back in 2006 that we still use today; the service became known as the Stop Hate line. As we were delivering a new service across a wider geographical area we changed our name from LRHP to Stop Hate UK. Doreen Lawrence delivered a speech at our launch event in Hull; it was an exciting time as nobody else had really come up a proper solution which met Recommendation 16 from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – ‘The ability to report 24 hours a day.’ At the end of the 6 month pilot and funding period, the Board and staff at Stop Hate UK were unanimous in our belief that we couldn’t and shouldn’t close the helpline, 6 months had been far too short a time to undo the decades of cynicism around Hate Crime reporting so we decided to continue the service and seek funding using a model of small contracts from police forces and local authorities as no central funding was available.

In 2009, with funding from Ministry of Justice’s Victim Fund, we were able to advertise for paid helpline operators and continued to expand the areas in where we worked. We increased the number of ways that people could report Hate Crime; we introduced web chat, text and an online form. We currently have 8 ways to report including BSL and access to interpreting when needed.

The next change came at the end of 2012 when Voice UK, an organisation we had been working with ran into some difficulties and went into liquidation. They’d been running a learning disability helpline; we stepped in quickly to prevent the service closing and secured funding from the Ministry of Justice. It’s now been two years; managing this helpline has enabled us to develop our expertise particularly on learning disability Hate Crime and we now employ an advocate to ensure people get the support they need. In late 2014 another opportunity to have a targeted helpline arose; with funding from the Equality and Human Rights Council we launched the Stop LGB&T Hate Crime helpline in January 2015. This has been a great way to start our 20th year of supporting people; these specialist helplines allow us to further develop our specialist resources around particular strands, widen the reach of the organisation and supporting people which is what we’re all about.

I’ve always worked in the world of supported housing management, homelessness, asylum seeking and refugees so being able to work in a job like this, developing these services is really important for me. I was brought up by family to believe in equality and social justice and this job brings those things together for me; I have the opportunity to campaign for people who either can’t do or are unable to campaign for themselves or simply aren’t being listened to. It’s great providing a service that can demonstrate its openness to everybody and deliver a message that nobody should be targeted because of aspects of their identity. I’m really proud that we have developed a service which meets Recommendation 16 in that somebody is here 24 hours a day, so that if you, or anyone you know, has been affected by a Hate Crime wants to speak to someone, you can. To be able to say we’ve achieved that is enough to ensure that I and the rest of the team here at Stop Hate UK come in every day; our service is accessible, consistent and I’m very proud to say a sustainable service.

Watch out for our next blog later in February!

 

 

 

Launch of Stop LGB&T Hate Crime helpline

LGBT-Logo-With-NumberStop Hate UK are pleased to announce the launch of a helpline offering advice, support and telephone-based advocacy to victims of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Hate Crime. The service has been funded until March 2016 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and will operate across England, Scotland and Wales. The national charity, founded in 1995, will work closely with the LGBT Consortium and other third sector organisations, local authorities and police commissioning areas to ensure the helpline is accessible to all who need it including those in rural areas.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive for Stop Hate UK, said

“Our existing helplines have received increasing numbers of callers over the past few years and we are pleased to have provided support to so many people who have suffered as victims of Hate Crime because of some aspect of their identity. We hope that the launch of this new service for LGB&T people, introducing a varied range of reporting methods, will empower and facilitate more people to step forward to seek support.”

The Gay British Crime Survey (Stonewall/YouGov, 2013) found that 1 in 6 lesbian, gay and bisexual people had suffered from a hate incident or crime within the previous 3 years. However, only one third of these crimes and incidents have been reported. Various reasons for not reporting were given, including concern that they would not be taken seriously and fear of reprisal.
The Stop Hate UK LGB&T helpline offers people an alternative method of reporting with additional support if required.

People across England, Scotland and Wales who have experienced, witnessed or know someone who is experiencing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Hate Crime can contact the LGB&T Hate Crime helpline on 0808 801 0661, or visit our website www.stophateuk.org,  for support and information. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; calls are free from landlines and most mobiles but we can always call you back if you want.

Calls are confidential and ongoing support will be offered. Referrals to other services, including the police, are made where consent has been given by the victim. Callers can also report hate crimes and incidents by text, text relay, web chat, online forms, post and email.

 

Birmingham Against Hate Crime

Stop Hate UK  has joined forces with Birmingham City Council and its partners on the Board of the Crime and Community Safety Partnership to tackle hate crime and encourage its reporting. 
In establishing the partnership the Board and the City Council are demonstrating their commitment to preventing and tackling Hate Crime in all its forms. As part of this ongoing campaign, they have commissioned Stop Hate UK to provide reporting and support to people affected by Hate Crime and offer an alternative way of reporting incidents that support local policy and strategy.

 

Mike Lowe, the appointed Community Representative on the Board said ‘I am proud to champion the Introduction of Stop Hate UK into Birmingham. It is a clear message to all that Birmingham takes Hate Crime seriously – For when Communities are confidently united against Hate, we can prevent people from being victims in the future.

 

Stop Hate UK is a national charity that provides independent and confidential support to people who are affected by all forms of Hate Crime. The Stop Hate Line is Stop Hate UK’s Hate Crime reporting and support helpline. Anyone in the City can contact the Stop Hate Line to talk about how Hate Crime has affected them.

 

The charity, whose Patron is Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica set up the Stop Hate Line in 2006 in direct response to Recommendation 16 of the Macpherson Report (the enquiry into the handling of the death of Stephen Lawrence) states that victims and witnesses should be able to report Hate Incidents 24 hours a day and to someone other than the police.

 

The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The helpline can support people in the area who report incidents where they believe they

have been targeted because of any aspect of their identity including Disability, Gender Identity, Race, Religion and Sexual Diversity.

 

Rose Simkins Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK, said: “All forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported. Some individuals and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council. The Stop Hate Line gives victims and witnesses a safe and independent place to talk about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”

 

Rose continued:

“We are able to support people who feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact with our helpline might be the first time a victim has talked about the things they are experiencing. Other people may have tried to get help but find they are not satisfied with the response they received. No one should have to suffer Hate Crime in silence.”

 

People can contact the Stop Hate Line anonymously if they prefer. Where a victim has chosen to give their personal details to Stop Hate UK, their trained staff and volunteers will ask the victim who they want their details to be shared with. The charity can also share information with the police and council, with consent, to ensure that Hate Crime victims and witnesses can access the support they need.

 

The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625. The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email at talk@stophateuk.org. Service users with Hearing Impairments can report via interactive BSL by clicking the link on our website www.stophateuk.org . Victims and witnesses can also chat on the web or fill in an online form by visiting www.stophateuk.org/talk.

 

Notes to the Editor

 

Patron – Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, of

Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica

 

Ambassador – Adrian Derbyshire, International Wheelchair Athlete for Great Britain

 

Stop Hate UK is a registered charity, Registration Number 1062692

 

More details from Rose Simkins: 0113 2935100 or rose@stophateuk.org

 

 

 

Bradford to launch Youth Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel

On Thursday 16th October 2014, at 6pm, at City Hall in Bradford, Bradford District Hate Crime Partnership are Launching a Youth Scrutiny Panel.

The Panel is for Young People aged 15-20 years.

Members of the group will work with the Police and Bradford Youth Development Partnership to review Hate crimes and Stop and Search reports submitted by officers.

They will offer advice to the Police on the way the cases are dealt with, what Police did well, what Police could do better and how the District can improve services for Victims of Hate Crime.

The group will find this is an opportunity to influence policing in the communities, learn more about Hate Crime and the way the Police deal with things, and gain valuable knowledge for their futures.

The Launch is part of Hate Crime Week 2014 and will be attended by Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, Council Leader Mike Green, Bradford District Police, Bradford Youth Development Partnership, Bradford Hate Crime Alliance and other partners.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Youth Scrutiny Panel or you work with Young People who would like to be involved, please contact PC 696 Fiona Butterfield, Bradford District Hate Crime Coordinator for more information.

Leave your details with the police call centre on Tel 101, or email Fiona directly at fiona.butterfield@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.”

 

Letters of support from Prime Minister, Deputy Prtime Minister and leader of the opposition

Letters and statements of support for this year’s National Hate Crime Awareness week organised by 17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign in partnership with Stop Hate UK have been received from the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the opposition and the Minister for Crime.

Prime Minsister David Cameron wrote;

“Hate Crime Awareness Week reminds us of the devastating effect of hate crime on victims, their families and entire communities. It is a chance to remember those who have suffered or who continue to face intolerance and hatred.

We remember those who were killed and injured 15 years ago in the appalling nail bomb attacks in London, which targeted people because of the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation; we remember Ian Baynham who was killed in Trafalgar Square five years ago in a homophobic attack; we remember all those who were killed or injured before and since and think about their friends and families who must live with terrible consequences of hate crime every day.

Such acts must be totally rejected – every person, no matter their background, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, beliefs or ethnicity, should be allowed to live their lives without fear of being abused or attacked because of who they are – this is a basic right and one we all share.

We all have a responsibility to challenge hatred. Whether that’s addressing attitudes and behaviours that foster prejudice; intervening at an early age to educate children about tolerance; urging role models to set a good example, or backing communities so they feel confident to speak out against hatred.

And of course, the Government and law enforcers have a critical role to play too. The Government needs to make sure the best legislation and protections are in place to safeguard victims and give police and prosecutors the best possible tools; the police service needs to make sure victims feel confident in coming forward by thoroughly investigating allegations and robustly pursuing offenders; and prosecutors need to support witnesses and bring perpetrators to justice.

I am confident that the Government is making good progress in delivering on our commitments to tackle hate crime. We have strengthened the legal framework and improved how hate crime is reported and measured. We will continue to focus on our three core areas: to prevent hate crime happening in the first place; to increase reporting and access to support; and to improve the operational response to hate crime.

However, I know that still more needs to be done by all agencies and authorities, working in partnership with communities and charities like Stop Hate UK and 17-24-30, to ensure victims are heard, offenders are brought to justice and communities feel protected.

The UK is a far stronger place because of its diversity. People of different backgrounds all help make this great country. Let us all go forward together in the name of unity to confront hatred and intolerance.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wrote;

“No-one should ever have to feel threatened or afraid of being who they are, because of their sexuality, beliefs, race, gender or disability.

“During Hate Crime Awareness Week, we remember those people who have suffered as victims of hate crime, as well as their families and friends, and stand with them to say we will not tolerate this abuse.

“In Britain, we pride ourselves on being a modern, diverse and open society. There’s no place in our society for discrimination of any kind. That’s why, in this Coalition Government, we’ve focused on preventing these kinds of attacks, increasing the reporting of hate crimes when they do happen and ensuring victims receive our full support.

“We can’t change things on our own. This is a constant challenge that we need to face together. Hate Crime Awareness Week is a stark reminder of what more we need to do: eliminating hate crime and building the fairer society everyone in Britain deserves.”

Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband wrote;

“I want to add my support to this year’s hate crime awareness week.

This year’s events come on the fifth anniversary of the appalling murder of Ian Baynham in Trafalgar Square. Despite the progress we have made on equality elsewhere, too many young men and women still face the daily experience of discrimination.

I know that Britain is better than the prejudice and hatred directed at too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

This is why hate crimes awareness week and the many community and faith events happening across the country to support it are so important in affirming our collective commitment to speak out against hatred and persecution.

We have come a long way on the journey against homophobia and transphobia. Together, we have brough equality closer, from ending Section 28 to outlawing discrimination in the workplace in the everyday provision of goods and services. I am proud of the part that Labour MPs and Peers played in securing the sucessful passage of equal marriage through Parliament. Britain is better because of these changes.

But there is still unfinished business.

For every young person scared to come out or facing bullying in the playground, we stall have a job to do. For all those in other countries who are facing persecution and even death because of their sexuality, we still have a job to do.

But the legacy of equality has always been that when communities come together to organise a better society, progress has been made.

As you gather at events and vigils throughout Hate Crime Awareness Week, remember those who have suffereed and be restless for change.

Together we can build a more equal and just society.”

Norman Baker MP

Minister for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker MP wrote;

“Living without the fear of being abused or attacked because of who you are is a basic human right and one we all share. I welcome Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014 as an invaluable opportunity to raise public awareness and encourage local action against all forms of hate crime.

Targeting a person or a group based on their disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender-identity or any other personal characteristic is completely unacceptable and has no place in a civilised society.

In my role as Minister for Crime Prevention I have had the privilege of seeing the valuable work that groups like 17-24-30 do in raising awareness and supporting victims of all forms of hate crime. Earlier this year I met with Sylvia Lancaster from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, who has built a lasting legacy to her daughter whose murder was defined by the court as a hate crime. We discussed how to raise awareness of hate crimes against people from alternative subcultures amongst young people, police and other agencies. The work of organisations such as these is essential in ensuring that the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred are challenged, so that everyone has the freedom to live their lives free from hostility or harassment on the grounds of who they are.

The most recent update of our cross-government hate crime action plan ‘Challenge it, Report it, Stop it’ was published in May. As a progress report, it provides an overview of our achievements since the action plan was established in March 2012. In the report, we  also highlight issues that have emerged or continued to evolve and have renewed our commitment to focus attention on disability hate crime,  online hatred, extremism and anti-Muslim hatred. We are working across government, with our partners, the voluntary sector and on an international level to take action in each of these areas.

As part of our commitment to build a better understanding of hate crime and how it affects different people, I attended a meeting of the All-party parliamentary group on autism and learning disabilities in May to listen to the issues of the group about hate crimes against people with autism and learning disabilities. I have also met with the government’s Independent Advisory Group on hate crime. This group includes experts from across the hate crime sector and victims.

Following the recent rise in anti-Semitic hate crime in Britain we are liaising closely with the Jewish community to support them in combating it. I plan to visit the Community Security Trust, an organisation that supports the Jewish community and monitors anti-Semitic incidents, later this month, and Ministers across government have already met with representatives from Jewish communities to discuss the situation. New guidance for dealing with hate crimes, which includes advice for dealing with anti-Semitic incidents and how to monitor and deal with community tensions, has recently been issued to police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Getting the response to hate crime right depends on deep local knowledge of victims, offenders and communities. Our action plan emphasises the importance of local areas taking the lead in tackling hate crime, with professionals, the voluntary sector and communities working together to deal with local issues and priorities. I congratulate all local areas who have organised events this Hate Crime Awareness week to promote local services and initiatives.

I am conscious that there is more we can do to tackle hate crime and it is one of my top priorities in my role. I will use Hate Crime Awareness week as an opportunity to remember those who have been affected by hate crime and consider how best to take further action to end these dreadful acts. We are making real progress in tackling hate crime, but there is still much to do to confront the hatred and hostility that still exists in our society.

I would encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to come forward and report the incident to the police, so we know where incidents are happening. You can report incidents directly to the police online through True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk.”

Stop Hate UK are proud to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014

Stop Hate UK are proud to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014

Stop Hate UK are proud to be working with 17-24-30 for this year’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week. The purpose of the week is to promote and raise awareness of Hate Crime – what it is and what to do if you affected by it. The various events will be used to encourage, report, and promote local support services and resources.

Starting on Saturday 11 October 2014, National Hate Crime Awareness Week begins at St Paul’s Cathedral in London with a candlelit vigil and presentation hosted by Sylvia Lancaster, Founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Other events include street theatre performances and giveaways in Worcester, drop in sessions at Asda Superstore in Southwark, London and training and awareness sessions in Plymouth and many other events across the UK.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week is a pivotal time in our calendar. It helps us to raise the profile of Hate Crime and bring to light the many ways people can be a victim of Hate Crime. Our mission is to not only help people affected by Hate Crime but to educate and support too. I’m very proud to be part of such an amazing event and I am sure these will get bigger year on year.”

Stop Hate UK are encouraging local authorities (Police, Council and others) to work in partnership with local groups and community organisations to host a series of Hate Crime Awareness Events throughout the UK and Abroad in the week leading up to the International Day of Hope and Remembrance on the 18th October 2014 for those affected by Hate Crime.

For more information please contact Stop Hate UK on 0113 293 5100 or email info@stophateuk.org.

 

Stop Hate UK would like to invite you to attend any of the events being hosted during National Hate Crime Awareness Week. To see the diary of events go to http://www.stophateuk.org/hate-crime-awareness-week/ or contact Stop Hate UK as more events are still being added in the run up to the week.

New vacancy – Stakeholder Relationship Co-ordinator

We are seeking to appoint a part time

Stakeholder Relationship Co-ordinator


18.5hrs per week based at our Head Office in Leeds

(Temporary until 31 March 2015)

 

Salary: £25,000 pa (pro rata)

The co-ordinator will work closely with our team and stakeholders to raise awareness of Hate Crime and our services.  They will be a confident person who is able to establish good relationships with many different types of people and organisations using face to face meetings as well as electronic and social media communications.

Closing date for this post is noon 2nd October 2014

Interviews to be held on 8th October 2014


This is a key role within the organisation and will involve travel and overnight stays.

For an application pack please visit http://www.stophateuk.org/jobs-volunteering/

If you have questions about the position after having downloaded the application pack, please contact 0113 293 5100 or info@stophateuk.org

 

Stop Hate UK welcomes applications from all sections of the community regardless of race, gender, faith, disability, sexual diversity or age.

 

All applicants should note that appointment will be subject to a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Devon & Cornwall PCC commissions Stop Hate UK

Stop Hate UK are delighted to have received funding from the Ministry of Justice Competed Fund, supported by the OPCC of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The  funding will allow us to introduce our independent and confidential 24/7 Stop Hate Line service throughout Devon and Cornwall allowing victims and witnesses to report Hate Crimes and Discrimination via Phone, Text, Web-chat, Email, Post, Text-Relay and Interactive BSL Interpreter. Service users will receive the immediate support of our trained Helpline operators who will discuss options and where consent is provided, refer onwards to partner agencies. Service users will also be offered the services of a Hate Crime Advocate who will provide ongoing telephone based support and assistance.

The service will complement existing services within Devon and Cornwall to ensure victims have the ability to access specialist advice and support when they need it in a way that is appropriate to them. Together we will aim to assist victims cope and recover from the victimisation they have faced in order that they can live their lives in a way they wish, without fear of hostility, discrimination and prejudice.