Politicians: Polarising Language could lead to Legitimised Hate

We thought we’d share this BBC article that has urged politicians to avoid using polarising language, when campaigning on political issues, as it could lead to “legitimised hate”.

Stop Hate UK are in agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s concerns that the language used, particularly in the run up to the EU Referendum vote, definitely fuelled the divisive tensions in our society.

The article (and commission) cited the terrible events that led to the killing of both Arkadiusz Jozwick and those leading to the death of MP Jo Cox, as examples of such tensions reaching a tragic peak.

The commission, which is an independent statutory body actually picks out the ‘Brexit’ vote as the defining moment, saying that while the economic implications of the vote were of great importance to the people and the country as a whole, it also noted that there should be “discussion on what values we hold as a country” and criticises the government’s aborted plan for companies to set out the proportion of foreign people they intend to employ.

Like Stop Hate UK, the commission welcomed the government’s Action on Hate Crime.

It’s been 5 months now since ‘Brexit’ and much has been said; and there’s doubtless much still to be said, but if the people who are tasked with, or involved in the running of the country are seen to be using ‘inflammatory’ language in campaigning, debate or in rhetoric, then what message does it send to the public?

There is no coincidence between the use of much more direct language, like those seen during the EU Referendum (from both sides) and the apparent legitimisation of what is effectively ‘Hate Speech’.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the intimation in this article and hopes that politicians and the like, take heed of its concerns.

Joint Statement: Stop Hate UK & Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Stop Hate UK and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust have issued a joint statement on safety in today’s society and why proper training could help to tackle Hate Crime.

JOINT STATEMENT

In a recent article, published by The Guardian online, the Scottish Government’s Independent Advisory Group on hate crime, prejudice and community cohesion suggested that responsibility for tackling hate crime in society should extend beyond the criminal justice system and that certain groups, such as teachers and bus drivers, need training to tackle “blatant and latent” prejudice and indifference before it escalates into Hate Crime.

In response to this, here is our joint statement;

“Everyone has the right to feel safe. This right applies whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Regrettably, there are individuals who threaten our right to feel safe, by committing acts of Hate Crime and, sadly, crimes of this nature are among the most underreported incidents in the UK.

Stop Hate UK and Suzy Lamplugh Trust have worked together for a number of years to help those who have experienced Hate Crime, or are fearful of experiencing Hate Crime to feel safer and more confident.

In response to the worrying increase in Hate Crimes that have been reported since the UK voted to leave the European Union, we are releasing a statement to provide guidance on what you can do if you experience or witness Hate Crime or other targeted crime involving any aspect of an individual’s identity.

Safety First

If you experience or witness an act of Hate Crime, consider the personal safety of the victim(s), the person targeted and those around them and your own. Verbal aggression, including that motivated by hate, can rapidly escalate into physical violence so the safest thing may be to remove yourself from the situation or to help others to do so, as quickly as possible.

How and when to intervene

While we call for a society in which we could all challenge hostile or abusive behaviour safely, we remain acutely aware that there are potential risks to individuals who attempt to intervene in aggressive situations. Although intended to support the victim or person targeted, intervention can sometimes result in an escalation of behaviour and put others at risk of harm.

Before attempting to intervene, try to assess the risk. Could you defuse the situation, for example by talking calmly the aggressor and asking them to stop? Or can you show concern for the victim or person targeted by asking them if they are OK? Bear in mind that someone who is being singled out may not necessarily feel empowered if they feel others are ‘taking over’. If intervening yourself would put you or others at risk, either seek help from other people in the vicinity of an incident or call 999.

Report it

Hate Crimes are often not reported. You can report incidents of Hate Crime to the police, online through True Vision or via independent services such as Stop Hate UK.

It can also be helpful to the police to have recorded evidence of Hate Crime incidents.

Stop Hate UK recently launched its own Hate Crime Reporting App, to serve the West Yorkshire region. This it has been developed specifically for capturing and reporting hate incidents. However, before attempting to record someone who is behaving aggressively, consider whether there is a risk that this could escalate the situation.

As a direct response to calls for training on what to do if you witness Hate Crime is now available, Stop Hate UK are pleased to say that we now have specially developed training available, to help people be better equipped to understand how to deal with incidences of Hate Crime and to provide key insights into educating people how to report and respond to violent incidents.

We feel this is of particular relevance to people who are taking immediate responsibility in a situation, such as a teacher, nurse or a bus driver, who need the training, skills to be able to deal with a potentially difficult situation, without also putting themselves at risk. You can find out more about this by clicking here or by going to www.stophateuk.org or www.suzylamplugh.org

Being violent or aggressive towards another person because of who they are is intolerable. Stop Hate UK and Suzy Lamplugh Trust are committed to continuing to work together to reduce the risk of violence and aggression and to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination.

Stop Hate UK works alongside local strategic partnerships to tackle Hate Crime and discrimination, encourage reporting and the supporting of the individuals and communities it affects.”

If you have any questions or want more information on how Stop Hate UK can help with training, support or anything else relating to Hate Crime click here to find out how to contact us

The Award Winning West Yorkshire Hate Crime Reporting App

We were all over the moon recently, when we found out that our West Yorkshire Hate Crime Reporting App had won an award at The Helplines Partnership Awards!

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As part of The Annual Helpline Event, we were shortlisted in the Best Use of Innovative Technology category and walked away with the category’s top prize, with our recently launched Hate Crime Reporting App for West Yorkshire.

So a big thanks to the to all those that have downloaded and used the app, the Techno Snowball team that developed the technology and, last but not least, the lovely judging panel!

We see the App as a great new, confidential tool to help all those either directly or indirectly affected report Hate Crime, so we’re really proud to receive recognition from such a well-respected industry body.

You can download the App by visiting Google Play or Apple App Store and search for ‘Stop Hate UK’.

Well done everyone! 🙂

Stop Hate UK Shortlisted for Helpline Award!

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve just found out we’ve been nominated for a Helpline Partnership Helpline Award 2016.

It’s always fantastic news to be shortlisted for an award, and particularly pleasing when it’s recognition from within the industry.

The awards take place on Friday November 4th at the De Vere West One Hotel, in London, as part of the Helplines Partnership Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony and feature two amazing keynote speakers, in Simon Weston CBE and Carol Smith from The Royal British Legion – so we really are in good company.

The judging panel is made up of Detective Inspector Benjamin Loose (Kent Police), Jo Clark (Paramedic), Paul Joseph (Missing People) and Faye McGuinness (Mind).

Obviously we are thrilled to be shortlisted and we’ll have our fingers firmly crossed until the 4th November and thanks to everyone who nominated Stop Hate UK for this award – we really do appreciate your support!

Helpline Awards Panel

My Month at Stop Hate UK, Brexit, Pride and Rejection.

I started my month’s placement with some expectation of the charity world, with experience from Oxfam and local community centres, I thought I knew what to expect. But Stop Hate UK seems a unique charity, small in size but big in support. 

What struck me most was the resilience of the staff, day in day out – through their 24-hour helpline they are faced with hard hitting, often heartbreaking stories from those in need of a friendly ear and informed advice. 

After Brexit, it was more difficult for me to stay optimistic about universalism and societal acceptance, but Stop Hate UK was continuing to lead the way to an open dialogue between the people experiencing discrimination directly, and the Police. The importance of reporting Hate Crime became very obvious, very quickly. By reporting, and recording Hate Crime, it is the only way that the Police services and other protectionary bodies can be aware of what is going on a grass roots level which shapes action and prevention.

Despite the sense of national tension and uncertainty at the time, the office was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity from individuals and organisations standing up against racism and discrimination of all kinds. With the sale of T-Shirts, proclaiming: ‘You are welcome here!’ with proceeds, sponsored walk, sky-dives, people had united to say ‘Yes’ to Brexit but ‘NO!’ to racism. 

Throughout my placement I worked on various aspects, which I appreciate Stop Hate UK trusting me with, from creating a Fundraising Pack to applying for a grant for Leeds Pride 2016. I proposed a project for Leeds Pride, with an artistic twist aimed at increasing the Stop Hate UK’s publicity through a Facebook campaign. 

However, the effectiveness of the Social Media platform is nothing new to Stop Hate UK, as avid networkers and tweeters, with hashtags flying everywhere, I felt like a novice in the field in comparison. I even witnessed the preparations of a collaboration with Twitter, (YES TWITTER!) for an anti-hate speech online campaign. This was cutting edge stuff!

Unfortunately, my Leeds Pride Grant application was unsuccessful. Even though I had true belief and passion for the proposed project, sometimes, or even often, you will not get the funding you want and believe you should. That is the real world. Much like Brexit, big decisions can be out of your hands.

However, in terms of Hate Crime, if you are being abused and discriminated against, you should know that Stop Hate UK is here to back you up and will endeavour to ensure you feel safe and in control. 

I would like to thank Stop Hate UK, an organisation made up of amazing individuals for teaching so much and really inspiring me for the future! 

Joselene

Hate Crime incidents soar in wake of Brexit vote

New Home Office figures have just been released and show that the number of hate crimes leapt by 41% in the month after the vote to leave the European Union.

The data, collated from 31 police forces showed that in the two weeks prior to the referendum, including the day of the referendum itself (23rd June), they recorded 1,546 racially or religiously aggravated offences.

Hate Crime Increases After Brexit Vote

In the fortnight immediately after the vote to leave the UE, the number had climbed to 2,241. There was also an increase in racially and religiously aggravated offences recorded in June, followed by an even sharper rise in July 2016.

And, although Levels of hate crime and racist incidents have since declined but remain significantly higher than last year. Overall there were 52,465 incidents of hate crime in the year ending March 2016, an increase of 19% on the previous year.

Stop Hate UK is not surprised by today’s official figures, as it confirms what we ourselves had been seeing and hearing across our reporting platforms. However, we feel that people need to be aware of the true facts and statistics, so that more incidents of Hate Crime are reported to the police or to organisations like Stop Hate UK.

You can read more by looking at the articles from The Independent.” and ‘The Guardian’.

Theresa May’s Message of Support

Prime Minister Theresa May gives her message of support for Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016.

Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May said the following today in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week:

“I am pleased to support the Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Hate crime has no place in Britain. In my 6 years as Home Secretary I saw the pain and suffering it causes – and the consequences when we fail to act. As Prime Minister, I am determined to make Britain a place where all our communities can flourish and all people – whatever their background, can go as far as their talents will take them. That means stamping out sickening and shameful hate crime.

Everybody living in this country is equal and everybody is free to lead their lives as they see fit. We are free to practise any faith, follow any religious denomination, or ignore religion altogether.

We have one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world continuing to protect communities from hostility, violence, homophobia and bigotry but we need to do more.

It is completely unacceptable for people to suffer abuse or attacks because of their nationality, ethnic background or colour of their skin. This government will not stand for it.

We have already taken steps to improve our collective response to hate crime. Police forces now ensure that the recording of religion-based hate crime now includes the faith of the victim. The Crown Prosecution Service has issued new guidance to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime, and we have provided funding for protective security at vulnerable institutions and for community organisations to help tackle hate crime.

We have published the Hate crime action plan which includes working with schools to equip teachers and parents to challenge hatred and know how to report it. And we are working directly with communities to challenge the harms that they see every day as a result of hate crime, including a £2.4 million fund for security for places of worship, and new funding for projects that tackle hate crime in communities.

But we must go further. As long as hate crime exists, we must challenge ourselves to do more. Because, as I said on the steps of Downing Street, my mission is to make Britain a country that works for everyone. Hate crime of any kind, directed against any community, race or religion, has absolutely no place in British society.

Together, by standing against hate and for tolerance, we can build a better and more united Britain that works for everyone.”

Stop Hate UK, Chief Executive discusses Post-Referendum Hate Crime

Our Chief Executive, Rose Simkins was featured on ITV Calendar News last night, discussing the rise in Post-Referendum Hate Crime and the Stop Hate UK West Yorkshire Reporting App.

For more information on our Reporting App click here.