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.

 

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.

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

Launch of West Yorkshire Hate Crime Reporting APP

Stop Hate UK is pleased to announce the launch of a new Hate Crime Reporting App.

Its aim is to aid witnesses and those targeted because of their identity, throughout West Yorkshire, to report incidents of Hate Crime and be able to access information and advice about Hate Crime services.

Development of the App has been made possible by funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire, as part of the Supporting Victims of Hate Crime Fund.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said:

“This is an exciting new service giving West Yorkshire residents and visitors greater choice to report Hate Crime. The new App complements our own helplines and other reporting channels and, by capturing images of incidents, can provide the additional evidence needed to successfully investigate incidents. The information in the App about Hate Crime and other partner agencies within West Yorkshire will help people seek help as and when they are ready to do so – be that immediately after an incident or when they feel ready.”

We would like to thank the Office of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner for supporting the development of the App and for demonstrating their commitment to achieving sustainable Hate Crime services.

Rose continued:

“All forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported. Some individuals and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council. The App gives victims and witnesses a safe and independent way to tell our charity, Stop Hate UK, about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”

People can report via the App anonymously if they prefer but where consent is given, we will work with others to find the best possible solution to the issues raised.

Hate Crime Reporting AppThe App can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching for ‘Stop Hate UK’ on either platform.

We’re also pleased to say that the advent of the App has recently been highlighted in an article in The Yorkshire Post and its launch seems particularly timely and, moreover, somehow more poignant, given the recent sad and very tragic events in the USA, which saddened and shocked us all so deeply.

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 as a direct response to Recommendation 16 of the Macpherson Report (the enquiry into the handling of the death of Stephen Lawrence) which states that victims and witnesses should be able to report Hate Incidents 24 hours a day and to someone other than the police.