It’s an alarming fact that ‘acid attacks’ appear to be on the rise in the UK, and some of them appear to be linked to incidents of Hate Crime.
However, it’s important to note that some of the more recent attacks seem, on the face of it, to be acts of robbery as opposed to be incidents of Hate Crime but, nevertheless, we think it’s important to understand what to do in the event of such an attack.
The advice below, from ‘Stop Acid Attacks’, is how to treat an acid burn in the immediate aftermath once you have dialled 999…
The most important step is to immediately wash the affected body part with plenty of fresh or saline water
Dirty water can cause severe infection, so only rinse the burn with clean water
Keep flushing the burn with cool, but not very cold water until the burning sensation starts fading. This could take up to 45 minutes
Remove any jewellery or clothing which has had contact with the acid
Do not apply any cream or ointment as it may slow the treatment procedure by doctors
If possible, wrap the affected area in a sterilised gauze to protect the skin from air, debris, dirt and contamination
Get to A&E as quickly as possible
It’s also important to note that if you’re helping somebody else, it’s vital that you keep yourself protected at the same time.
Remember, these types of attacks are, thankfully, very rare indeed, but it is vital that we know what the immediate steps are to try to minimise the effects where possible.
Interestingly, as I write this, I am distracted by the news that the government are reviewing the sentences and punishments handed down to perpetrators of acid attacks and that this will be debated the issue in the House of Commons this coming week.
So, let’s hope any changes to the law reflect the severity, anguish and life changing effects felt by all those affected by acid attacks.
Stop Hate UK is pleased to announce the recent launch of the 24-hour Stop Hate Line helpline service across Essex. The service has been funded by The Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
Commenting on the launch of service, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, said:
“Essex is a safe place to live with resilient communities and strong relationships between communities, the voluntary sector and public services.
‘We need to make sure that we encourage the reporting of hate crime so that we can deal with it together. This is a confidential service designed to help encourage people to come forward and report hate crime but also access the support services they need.”
Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK, added:
“All forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported and some individuals and even whole communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council.
The Stop Hate Line, plus our other range of reporting channels, gives victims and witnesses of Hate Crime a safe and independent place to talk about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”
“We are able to support people who feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact with our helpline, or other reporting channels, might be the first time an individual has talked to someone 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. Sadly the occurrence of Hate Crime has increased nationally but, working together with The Police and Crime Commissioner, this is a trend we can reverse.”
People can contact the Stop Hate Line anonymously if they prefer. Where someone has chosen to give their personal details to Stop Hate UK, their trained staff and volunteers will ask 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 those affected by Hate Crime, in any way, 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 to firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 Essex can contact the Stop Hate Line to talk about how they have been directly or indirectly affected by Hate Crime.
The charity, whose Patron is Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, of Clarendon in the Commonwealth Realm of Jamaica, and ambassadors are Canon Mark Oakley of St Paul’s Cathedral and Great Britain athlete Adrian Derbyshire 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.
As you may have seen featuring heavily in the news, the majority of police forces in England and Wales have reported record levels of Hate Crimes reported to them, in the 3 months directly after the EU referendum, with more than 14,000 Hate Crimes being reported and 10 forces reported more than a 50% increase on the previous 3 months.
Whilst the figures are alarming and saddening, in equal measures, Stop Hate UK is not entirely surprised by them.
During the same period, as part of our day-to-day work to support those affected by Hate Crime, we saw first hand what was happening all across the UK, between July and September. In the 3 weeks directly after the referendum result, our own statistics saw a 60% increase in incidents reported to us, via our reporting channels.
Across the quarter, which covers the same 3 months as the police figures, Stop Hate UK recorded an increase of 32% in reported incidents overall and, whilst motivations of disability and gender identity were comparatively static, incidents motivated by race saw a 55% increase and those motivated by religion an 80% increase.
Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of these figures into the public domain, as it does now put into direct context the impact of the ‘Brexit’ campaign and it’s undeniable effect upon incidences of Hate Crime in the UK, which was doubted and even dismissed by certain sections of the media and across the political spectrum.
To find out more about Stop Hate UK and our work, visit www.stophateuk.org or email email@example.com
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
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!
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’.
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!
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.
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.