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.

 

National Hate Crime Awareness Week Poster

We are pleased to attach the official National Hate Crime Awareness Week poster, giving more details of the launch event at St Paul’s Cathedral, on Saturday 8th October 2016. Please feel free to download and display this poster around your organisation and social media.

It would be amazing to see as many people as possible getting involved in the week’s events and, perhaps, even organising their very own events themselves!

You can download a copy of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week Poster here.

Stop Hate UK is proud to be an official partner in National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Look out for #NHCAW on our Twitter and Facebook pages and right across social media.

Stop Hate UK is proud to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week

National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Saturday 8th-Saturday 15th October 2016

Stop Hate UK are once again proud to be working in partnership with the charity, 17-24-30, to coordinate and promote National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016.

17-24-30 was set up in 2009 by Mark Healey and Ryan Parkins following the London bombings in 1999 so that we would never forget the 139 people who were killed or injured. National Hate Crime Awareness Week has since become a focus each year for individuals and organisations, large and small, to show their commitment to stopping hate.

The week begins on Saturday 8th October with a service of Hope and Remembrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral, to remember all those who have lost their lives because of Hate Crime and all those who have been affected by it. (Click here for the full launch event information)

During the week various events and initiatives will be held throughout the country by charitable and voluntary organisations, statutory agencies such as the police, police and crime commissioners, local authorities – and many others. Through information stalls, campaigns and social media these agencies will be working together to raise awareness about the different ways to report Hate Crime and the support services that exist to help those who are affected. You can see the Guide to holding your own event by clicking here

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said:

“National Hate Crime Awareness Week is always a wonderful event, as it sees so many organisations working together to raise awareness about Hate Crime. Hate Crime across all monitored strands – disability, faith, gender identity, race and sexual orientation is a much under-reported crime. It’s important that we all continue to work together to ensure that those people who have been impacted by Hate Crime know where and how they can access support and the different options available to them. We want to see all perpetrators brought to justice and our communities made safer.”

Stop Hate UK and 17-24-30 have released a joint press release, which you can read by clicking here.

We hope as many people as possible participate in National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Keby looking for #NHCAW right across social media.

 

Stop Hate UK – Report on post-referendum Hate Crime

We are now 2 months on from the UK’s decision to leave the EU and we can now reveal the true extent of the impact that decision had, on incidences of Hate Crime, in the four weeks directly after ‘Brexit’.

Using statistics from our own Helpline, we saw an increase in call volume of 61% in the 4 weeks directly after the referendum result was known – compared to the 4 weeks prior to the vote – which is a staggering increase, resulting in the charity making a 40% increase in referrals to the police.

Although our report shows several motivations for the reported incidents, those motivated by race showed the biggest increase, followed by reports that were motivated by disability.

In line with the above, the biggest increases in the types of reported incidences were the use of offensive language, threatening behaviour and/or verbal abuse, as if the result of the vote gave certain individuals the right to air their wholly unacceptable views and that, somehow, these ‘views’ were vindicated by the leave result.

Also, the increase in reports of racially motivated Hate Crime is broadly reflected in the victim ethnicity statistics, with the largest increase in reports coming those of White European ethnicity, followed by White British.

Stop Hate UK’s report also contains case studies of some of the reports to our Helpline, to give the reader some context as to the terrible abuse that people have suffered, as a direct result of the referendum vote.

Whilst we are saddened by the findings in our report, we wanted to publish our findings to highlight the fact that Hate Crime is still an unwanted undercurrent running through certain parts of the UK’s society and that the recent referendum seemed, somehow, to make certain people think they could use it as a vehicle to commit acts of Hate Crime.

No one should have to suffer abuse, hostility, discrimination or any other kind of Hate Crime based on any aspect of their identity.

To view our post referendum report in full click here.

Any enquiries regarding Stop Hate UK’s post referendum report should be sent to info@stophateuk.org

Infographic Highlights Post Referendum Racism Report

Further to the report by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch, on post referendum racism that we published on our website and social media recently – they’ve now neatly summarised the key findings into an infographic.

You can see the infographic key findings by clicking here or if you missed their full report, you can read it by clicking here.

As we have already stated, Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of this report. Remember, we’ll shortly be issuing our own report, based on our Helpline statistics, pre and post ‘Brexit’, so be sure to check back soon to see it!

By presenting a united stance of zero tolerance towards any kind of Hate Crime, organisations like ourselves and the sites mentioned above, together with your support, can really make a difference in helping all those affected by Hate Crime.

New report shows extent of post referendum racism

The following report has been collected and collated by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch and, sadly, shows a similar picture was seen right across the UK, in terms of incidents of post referendum racism.

The reports describe gangs prowling the streets demanding passers-by prove they can speak English, offensive messages and symbols being drawn on house doors and many verbal assaults.

Worryingly, other incidents include toddlers being racially abused alongside their mothers, and children involved in both as perpetrators and the targets of the abuse.

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of this report and we’ll also shortly be issuing a report, based on our own Helpline statistics, pre and post ‘Brexit’.

By presenting a united stance of zero tolerance towards any kind of Hate Crime, organisations like ourselves and the sites mentioned above can really make a difference in helping all those affected by Hate Crime.

Response to Government Hate Crime Action Plan

At the time of writing, we have just witnessed yet more atrocities across France and Germany and, yet again, words fail us as to why these senseless, cowardly acts keep on happening and our thoughts and condolences go out to all the people involved and affected.

On the same day, the British Government reaffirmed its pledge to tackling Hate Crime in the UK, with newly appointed Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announcing the Government’s Action Plan on Hate Crime.

Stop Hate UK welcomes this plan and is pleased to see the Government moving to recognise the seriousness of such crimes and why there has to be a zero tolerance approach to any form of Hate Crime.

No one should want to live in a society filled with hate and it should not be commonplace, in today’s world, to simply accept these horrendous acts as ‘part of life’. Hate crime, in any form, is not welcome here and we must stand together to tackle it and rid our society of such harrowing incidents.

Obviously, the recent increases in reported incidents of Hate Crime (since the referendum result) are deeply saddening and has felt like a real backwards step for the UK as a whole, in its attempts to stamp out Hate Crime; but let’s not kid ourselves. Racism, hate, intolerance – call it what you will – is still an odious undercurrent in the UK and, for some, the referendum result was merely a vehicle to jump on the back of and vent draconian views, like they suddenly had a right to do, which, of course, they did not.

It is the Government’s duty to spearhead the campaign against hate, working with organisations, like Stop Hate UK, to set out a clear message of zero tolerance, so we are pleased to see the Action Plan’s pledge of help where it is needed, particularly the promise of new training and advice for schools and journalists, improving victims’ support and creating a database of racist symbols so police can recognise them.

As an organisation that provides 24-hour support to anyone affected by Hate Crime, we are here for anyone who is targeted or is a witness to Hate Crime. Therefore, we want to see a more robust, consistent and accessible approach across the UK to independent reporting services. We hope that this focus on Hate Crime will lead towards this and, also, an understanding that to stop Hate Crime we need to ensure that we are all able to get support when we need it.

Over the next few days, Stop Hate UK will be publishing its own report, based on our Helpline statistics, comparing the 4 weeks prior to the referendum, to the 4 weeks directly after and we expect this to reaffirm the need for everyone to present a united stance on Hate Crime.

The message is clear – Hate Crime has no place in today’s society and no place at the table. No one should live in fear because of their disability, faith, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, age, alternative sub-culture, or any other part of their identity.

Brexit – Almost 2 weeks on, what do we now know?

June 23rd 2016 is indelibly etched in the UK’s political history, yet now, almost 2 weeks on from ‘Brexit’, we’re still not really any further informed as to what course the good ship UK will traverse through the choppy waters that lie ahead.

As a charity set up to tackle Hate Crime, we’ve seen first hand the ugly fallout from the referendum and some of the reports we’ve had, in the last 10 days or so, have been nothing short of shocking and it feels a little bit like, after Brexit, the UK has regressed about 20 years in its fight to tackle hate, discrimination, harassment and prejudice.

It’s important to note, however, that we must recognise that ‘Leave’ voters are not now all racist and, similarly, ‘remain’ voters are not now all ageist – something that certain groups and areas of the media seem to be trying to imply and sensationalise.
Hate Crime is a massively underreported crime and I also want to stress that point right now too. However, calls to our Helpline, which can include specific reports of Hate Crime or calls from people affected or touched by the issues, looking for help, support and advice remain high.

This last weekend (Friday 1st July to Sunday 3rd July) saw around double the normal levels we would handle and, since the vote result was known, the volume of calls to our Helpline is up around 4 times the volume of an average similar period.

Obviously, it is what we are here to do, but it’s not a statistic we are particularly happy or proud to report and, like the recent comments and pledges from David Cameron, we too condemn all forms of hate and welcome the pledge of a new action plan from the Government.

One thing that has happened, which we are pleased to report, is that we are seeing increased numbers of people coming forward to show support for the various charities and organisations set up to tackle these issues and there’s a real sense of the public and various organisations coming together to present a united stance on Hate Crime.

I’d like to go on record to say we’ve witnessed this first hand and to personally thank all the people that have sent messages of support to Stop Hate UK, via calls, emails and social media. Your support, in any form, is much appreciated.

Our message remains constant, throughout the turmoil of the last week or two – when it comes to Hate Crime, please REPORT IT. Don’t think twice to do it or try to rationalise actions that are wholly unacceptable.

Whilst the protracted affairs take place in Westminster, we want to see our existing and prospective leaders try and calm the country down and set peoples’ minds at rest. Not least, the groups of non-British people and those perceived to be non-British, seeking reassurance that being forced out of the UK is absolute nonsense and diatribe of the worst order.

What we need to do now, most of all, is to address the concerns and fears of ALL groups, British or otherwise and make community cohesion and safety our united goal.

Let’s hope the next two weeks sees a sense of clarity and calmness descend into society, but I rather think there could be more storm before the calm.

Stop Hate UK Statement – The rise of Hate Crime incidences after Brexit

Last Thursday’s referendum vote marked an historic day, in terms of the UK’s political landscape – it was always going to, whatever the outcome.

However, I am now certain that, with the dust still far from settling, no one really anticipated what this particular outcome really meant for the UK, in terms of repercussions and ramifications upon society as a whole.

As the weekend has shown us, the turmoil is far-reaching, with claims, counter-claims, u-turns and a general feeling that, at present we are somewhat rudderless and those that need to be our inspirational rocks are left floundering.

Sadly but, perhaps, not surprisingly, the UK’s immigration issue was probably at the forefront of many voter’s minds, given the type of campaigns run by the two main groups involved in the weeks and months leading up to the vote. To an extent, this was probably inevitable, given that immigration is such a sensitive, emotive and divisive issue in current times.

However, since last week’s vote, we have seen some alarming stories, across social media and in the press, where some people who are perceived to be non-British, are being verbally abused and, in certain cases being shouted at in the street that it was time for them to ‘pack up and go home’ or some having leaflets pushed through their letterboxes echoing similar sentiments.

Even more alarming is that such abuse and hostility is also being directed towards schoolchildren in the classroom and playground – a place they should feel absolutely safe.

Obviously, this is wholly unacceptable and perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Stop Hate UK has also spent time, since the vote was known, talking to people who are representative of the people in question and it’s very sad to hear them talk about no longer feeling safe in the UK and feeling isolated, vulnerable and genuinely scared to be here.

The vote on Thursday should not be seen and used, as a vehicle to engender Hate. This country, helped by many agencies and charities, such as Stop Hate UK, has worked tirelessly, to try to stamp out Hate Crime, in all its many and complex forms and we feel very strongly that, somehow, certain segments of the public now feel that the Brexit vote means that wholly inappropriate views and offensive language can now be used freely and without consequence and provides an excuse for xenophobic attacks.

The reported events of the weekend are, of course, extremely worrying and we must act quickly to ensure that the message to anyone affected by this is one of reassurance, empathy and determination to allay any fears they might currently have.

Therefore, Stop Hate UK echoes the many calls, from the likes of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other leading politicians and councillors, not to tolerate such incidences of Hate Crime and to report them immediately to the police, via the Stop Hate UK helpline 0800 138 1625 or other local Hate Crime service.

Rose Simkins

Chief Executive – Stop Hate UK

I Will Keep Fighting – Reflections a week on from Orlando

It’s been a week since the LGBT hate crime in Orlando and to be perfectly honest I’m still not sure what to say.

I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community and I was devastated when I woke up last Sunday to hear what had unfolded during the Latinx night at Pulse nightclub. I attended the Vigil for the Orlando victims in Leeds on Monday night. I spoke to friends and family members about what had happened, how they felt, what they thought…

And yet when I told someone I was going to write a post about Orlando, they asked “Why? You’ve got enough on your plate, do you need to? ”

No I suppose I don’t “need” to. After all what good is writing a post about it going to do? Perhaps they are right about that, this post isn’t going to bring back those people, it’s not going to change the world.

It’s been a week, plenty of other terrible events have happened around the world since last weekend. But the impact of this horrific hate crime hasn’t stopped because 7 days have passed. Time passing does not mean this tragedy is not still haunting the thoughts of people around the world. It does not mean that LGBTQ+ people don’t feel scared to go to LGBT venues anymore or be the person they really are.

I can’t help but think so this is what it takes? 49 people have to be murdered for people to think:

“Oh maybe we’re not quite at equal rights yet”

“Maybe allowing same sex marriage hasn’t made everything wonderful for the gay community.”

No it hasn’t and no we aren’t treated equally. This LGBT hate crime was a horrific display of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia but please do not make the mistake of thinking this is a one off hate crime. Please do not think that LGBTQ+ individuals around the world are not subjected to mockery, cruelty and even violence on a daily basis because trust me we are.

From the stares walking down the street holding your partner’s hand

The questioning looks in public when someone says “is that a boy or a girl?”

The person who tells you to go to the “right” bathroom

The family gatherings where you should be happy that you’re allowed to bring your “friend”

The “you’re so gay” comment made when someone does something stupid

The stereotype based bullying of the more masculine girl at school or the more effeminate boy

To be honest I could write on and on about the way the LGBTQ+ community are treated and how frankly tiring it can be. I could talk about the assault and murder figures for Trans People of Colour, especially Trans Women. I could talk about the self-harm and suicide rates amongst LGBTQ+ youth. But even as I write this, there is a small part of me saying “well who is really going to read this, who is really going to care” because after all it seems the vast majority of people only care when 49 individuals are murdered. But I have to believe that this will get better, I have to believe that these every day hate incidents and hate crimes will start being challenged and start getting rarer because if not what is the point of what I do.

I am very well aware that I have not written anything ground breaking here and that some people may read this and think “I’ve read this in every other LGBTQ+ blog.” But if reading these posts makes someone think twice about staring the next time they see a gay couple holding hands in public or whispering to their friend when they question a stranger’s gender, then trust me I am more than happy to be as repetitive as the next LGBTQ+ blog.

And to anyone out there reading this feeling alone and fed up, please know that you are not alone and these every day hate incidents are not something you should just “get used to.” Being targeted because of your sexuality or gender identity is wrong. The hate is wrong, you are not wrong. You are important and your identity is valid. So if you feel safe and comfortable to do so, please report it when you suffer a hate incident or hate crime. There are people out there who care and will do their best to support you.

So what has this horrific hate crime taught me? I guess it’s taught me what I knew but didn’t like to admit to myself, that essentially we have so much further to go and so much more to fight for. I for one am going to keep fighting and I would love it if you did too.

Oliver O’D – Assistant Advocate and Helpline Operator, Stop Hate UK

In response to the LGBT hate crime in Orlando Stop Hate UK have reopened the LGB & T hate crime helpline across England, Scotland and Wales. Report LGBT hate crime 24 hours a day on 0808 801 0661