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.
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.
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.
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