Stop Hate UK – Stop Hate UK – Response to Baroness Lawrence Report

Stop Hate UK – Response to Baroness Lawrence Report

The recent report by our Patron, Baroness Lawrence, into how ‘structural racism’ has contributed to the disproportionate impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, upon on Black and Asian communities, has received much media attention this week.

In her report, Baroness Lawrence said these groups were “over-exposed”, faced “barriers” to healthcare and had also been scapegoated for Covid’s spread.

Prior to the report’s publication, a government adviser claimed that “structural racism” was not in itself a “reasonable explanation” for infection rates differing between ethnic groups and also suggested that focusing on other factors like people’s jobs and housing conditions would be more helpful; whilst another said that higher transmission rates among BAME group were more likely to be down to “a range of socio-economic and geographical factors”,

We support the claims by Baroness Lawrence, that these communities “have been over-exposed, under-protected, stigmatised and overlooked during this pandemic – and that this has been generations in the making.”

Systematic racism is, sadly, still entrenched within our society and it is undeniable that this is likely to have led to the effects outlined in her report.

As Baroness Lawrence goes on to say, “The impact of Covid is not random, but foreseeable and inevitable, the consequence of decades of structural injustice, inequality and discrimination that blights our society.”

The report also says that BAME workers ‘were more likely than white people to work in “frontline” jobs and come into contact with coronavirus’ and, when accessing healthcare, there was a “lack of cultural and language-appropriate communication”, with patients “not being taken seriously when presenting with symptoms.” BAME people were also “under-represented across the senior leadership of the NHS”.

Commissioned by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, in April, the report goes on to state that BAME communities had “also been subject to disgraceful racism as some have sought to blame different communities for the spread of the virus” and calls on ministers to outline a plan to tackle the rise in Hate Crime, with party leaders “issuing a joint statement condemning attempts to pit communities against one another”.

At Stop Hate UK, we see the damage caused by Hate, discrimination and prejudice and we understand the issues that these and many other underrepresented groups face every single day.

We are doubly concerned when we hear that these issues also affect the impact of the pandemic upon BAME communities and that there are ‘barriers’ to people accessing the healthcare and help that they need.

Baroness Lawrence’s report has received much attention, and also attracted some criticism, however, from our professional experience, the situation she describes is very much real and we applaud not only the commissioning of the report, but also Baroness Lawrence’s brave and thorough review in highlighting the real issues facing minority groups at these very difficult and challenging times.

To find out more about the work of Stop Hate UK and how you can help, visit www.stophateuk.org

You can read Baroness Lawrence’s Full Report Here: https://www.lawrencereview.co.uk/

Report Hate Crime in Lewisham

Stop Hate UK Helpline launches in Lewisham

Stop Hate UK is pleased to announce the launch of its 24-hour Stop Hate Line helpline service in the London Borough of Lewisham. The service has been entirely funded by donations to the charity itself and is actually a ‘lifetime gift’ to the borough, from the charity, in recognition of 4 key factors:

  • Stop Hate UK’s close connection with The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust
  • As a thank you to Baroness Lawrence and recognition of her continued support for Stop Hate UK as its Patron
  • On 1st October 2020 we will be opening our first Stop Hate UK London office based at The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in Lewisham
  • 2020 marking Stop Hate UK’s 25th anniversary of our work to tackle Hate Crime

Commenting on the launch of service, Councillor Brenda Dacres, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said:

On the 25th Anniversary of Stop Hate UK, it is an honour for Lewisham to be the home of the helpline being launched today. In Lewisham, we are proud of our diversity and we stand shoulder to shoulder against all forms of Hate Crimes. Stop Hate UK has provided invaluable services; supporting and assisting victims of all forms of discrimination and Hate Crimes. The 24-hour/7 days a week helpline service will be instrumental on expanding that support, being available whatever the time and wherever we are. We are also delighted to be able to work even closer with the Stop Hate UK Team and Baroness Lawrence.”

Lewisham Metropolitan Police Service – Tara Duffy, SE BCU Hate crime coordinator and Faith liaison officer, said:

“We are delighted that the Stop Hate UK helpline has been launched in Lewisham, on this its 25th Anniversary. I am pleased that the residents of Lewisham will a have access to a service that will listen, provide advice and support, and help to explore what to do next. We recognise that not everyone wants, or is able, to report hate crimes directly to the police. Therefore, we really welcome the support Stop Hate UK can provide our communities here in Lewisham. We want to make sure that Lewisham continues to be a welcoming and safe borough for everyone. Much work has been undertaken in partnership with Lewisham Local Authority to reassure and address the concerns for our communities. However, there is still much work to do to tackle Hate Crime. Monitoring tensions and reducing hate crime is a work in progress, as we identify ongoing problems and deal with them head on.”

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK, said: Stop Hate UK is immensely proud to be able to make this gesture to Lewisham, as we have so many strong links with the borough, and it forms a key part of marking our 25th anniversary in tackling Hate Crime. We know that all forms of Hate Crime are significantly under-reported and people and communities are often reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council.

The Stop Hate Line, including all our range of reporting channels, gives those directly affected by or witness to a Hate Crime a safe and independent place to talk about their experiences and to explore their options for taking things further.”

Rose continued:

“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 our partners, we can help to make a difference in Lewisham.”

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 talk@stophateuk.org. Service users with Hearing Impairments can also 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 Lewisham 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 John’s College, Cambridge 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.

For media enquiries, please email andy@stophateuk.org

Stop Hate UK’s 25th Anniversary