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.

Sing Freedom in Leeds

When ANC activist Rusty Bernstein was tried for his life alongside Nelson Mandela, his family’s lives changed forever.

Join us as his daughter Frances tells their deeply personal story, recalling the liberation struggle vividly through the songs of the apartheid era, sung by Free Range

Funds raised will go to support the work of Stop Hate UK, challenging hatred and discrimination in all it’s forms.

Tickets £8 or 4 for £24 – to book tickets go to info@stophateuk.org or call 0113 293 5100

Friday 24th October, 7.30pm

See poster for details

 

Law Commission publishes recommendations on Hate Crime legislation

Following a lengthy and comprehensive consultation, to which Stop Hate UK was a significant contributor representing the interests of the people we support, the Law Commission has now published its recommendations on Hate Crime legislation.

We are delighted that the Law Commission has recognised that it is undesirable for aggravated offences not to apply equally to hostility based on Hate Crime across the five monitored strands of Disability, Gender Identity, Race, Religion and Sexual Orientation.

Although the Law Commission has not thought it possible to recommend an immediate extension of the aggravated offences to the strands of Disability, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, we understand the concerns that the current regime is not working effectively, and indeed this is something we raised as part of our consultation response. We therefore acknowledge and support the recommendation that further review of the aggravated offences ought to take place. Stop Hate UK hopes that the Government implements the full-scale review of the operation of aggravated offences and of the enhanced sentencing system that has been called for by the Law Commission.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the Law Commission’s recommendation that the Sentencing Council issue guidance on the approach to sentencing in offences involving hostility, as discussed in our consultation response We also strongly recommended that criminal record documentation ought to make it clear where someone has a previous conviction for an offence in which hostility based on one of the five monitored strands of Hate Crime was present. We are pleased to see that the Law Commission has taken up this stance.

We are disappointed that there is felt to be insufficient evidence at this time to extend the stirring up offences on grounds of Disability and Gender Identity: this is not the feeling of many of the people we speak to on a daily basis. We understand the stringent legal test to be met in order for a conviction for a stirring up offence to be secured but feel that there is a similar argument to be made about equality across the strands, as identified by the Law Commission in respect of the aggravated offences, even if only a limited number of convictions for stirring up offences would result.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said today:

“Stop Hate UK believes that at the heart of Hate Crime legislation should be the promotion of equality. We are pleased that the Law Commission’s report reflects a number of the recommendations that Stop Hate UK made during the consultation. We will continue to advance and promote the interests of all those affected by Hate Crime and communities affected by Hate Crime in any further review.”

Read Stop Hate UK’s Response to the Law Commission

Read Law Commission’s recommendations

 

 

 

New Hate Crime Operational Guidance published

This month the College of Policing published revised operational guidance outlining the minimum standards for response, investigation and supervision of Hate Crime offences.

The guidance which replaces the 2005 Hate Crime Manual includes a foreword by Dr Nathan Hall from the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth and member of the Independent Advisory Group for the Police. Dr Hall who also sits on the Board of Trustees at Stop Hate UK said:

“The police occupy an important position in protecting victims of hate crime. Victims and broader communities need to have trust and confidence that the police will respond appropriately and effectively to their needs and this further demonstration of their commitment is welcomed. It is also important that many victims and advocates have contributed to the development of this product and I am pleased to see the document published. The policing of hate crime has improved significantly since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry reported in 1999. This is testament to the tireless efforts of Stephen’s family but also to the dedication of many police officers of all ranks across the country, and of course the dedication of victims, advocates, charities and countless others working in this area. This guidance will help the service build on those improvements further.”

The under-reporting of Hate Crimes is acknowledged in the new guidance and Stop Hate UK is recognised as an independent service providing 24 hour Hate Crime reporting services offering immediate support and information for victims and third-party callers.

Merseyside PCC commissions Stop Hate UK to provide independent support and advice to victims

Commissioner delivers 24/7 helpline for all hate crime victims

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today pledged to tackle the under-reporting of hate crime by funding an independent support service for the whole region.

Jane Kennedy has announced she will fund Stop Hate UK to deliver a 24/7 helpline offering third party support and advice to anyone on Merseyside targeted by incidents of abuse, intimidation or hate because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender.

As well as offering a round-the-clock service by phone or social media, national third party reporting agency Stop Hate UK will also deliver a campaign aimed at raising awareness of hate crime in the region and the steps that can be taken to combat it.

The Commissioner made the announcement at the third annual Navajo Merseyside & Cheshire LGBTI Chartermark Award Ceremony, which recognises companies that support and encourage good practice and are committed and knowledgeable about the specific needs, issues and barriers facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex (LGBTI) people in Merseyside.

The decision to fund the service also comes as the Commissioner joined officers today in raising the rainbow flag at Merseyside Police headquarters ahead of International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) which is celebrated on May 17th every year.

The Commissioner took the decision to fund the service after becoming concerned that the service available to people across the region had become inconsistent.

Jane Kennedy said: “Tackling all forms of hate crime is one of my policing priorities. Merseyside Police are committed to eradicating crimes motivated by prejudice, intolerance and hatred. Nobody should be targeted by abuse or criminal behaviour because of their sexual orientation, transgender, disability, race or religion.

“We know that all forms of hate crime are significantly under-reported. We also know that if incidents are not tackled at an early stage they can escalate into very serious crimes. However, it is important to recognise that some individuals and communities may be reluctant to talk directly to the police or their local council.

“That is why it is so important to have a consistent third party reporting facility across the whole region. Currently that does not exist and that is why I have taken the decision to fund Stop Hate UK for Merseyside. This service will ensure every single person, of any race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or with any disability, living anywhere in the region can access an independent, confidential agency to report an incident of hate crime to a trusted and responsible third party organisation.

“I realise this means the number of reported hate crimes will increase, but that is what we must accept and encourage in order to protect our residents and prevent them from being targeted because of ignorance, prejudice or intolerance.

“My hope is that the reporting of hate crime does increase because, ultimately, that means that people are speaking out. It means people are saying abusing someone simply because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability is never acceptable here on Merseyside.”

Stop Hate UK will provide the infrastructure and IT to deliver the most up-to-date reporting mechanisms and the training, skills and experience to deal effectively with all reported incidents of hate crime. This includes an easily accessible service with free phone telephone numbers, multilingual options, text relay for hard of hearing, text reporting which goes direct to call handler, web chat and on line forms.

Stop Hate UK will also focus on raising awareness of hate crime within Merseyside, educating victims, witnesses and the general public about what hate crime is and the steps that can be tackle it.

Stop Hate UK Chief Executive Rose Simkins said: “Stop Hate UK are delighted that Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has decided to fund the Stop Hate Line service across Merseyside.

“This is a very important step to bring consistency across the whole of Merseyside and to ensure that anyone can access independent support on Hate Crime 24 hours a day by phone or using social media to report incidents. Hate Crime is known to have a long term and devastating impact on those who are targeted. However, we know that most people do not report the incidents they experience or witness. There are many barriers to reporting including: fear of reprisals, fear of the police, fear of not being believed, or not knowing who to speak to. We will now be able to offer this much needed service across the whole of Merseyside.”

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.

The Stop Hate Line 0800 138 1625 is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The helpline can support people who report incidents they believe to be motivated by aspects of identity such as Disability, Gender Identity, Race, Religion and Sexual Orientation. People who believe that they have been targeted because of other aspects of identity can also access the helpline.
People can also contact the Stop Hate Line anonymously. 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.