My Month at Stop Hate UK, Brexit, Pride and Rejection.

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! 

Joselene

Hate Crime incidents soar in wake of Brexit vote

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.

You can read more by looking at the articles from The Independent.” and ‘The Guardian’.

Theresa May’s Message of Support

Prime Minister Theresa May gives her message of support for Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016.

Downing Street

Prime Minister Theresa May said the following today in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week:

“I am pleased to support the Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Hate crime has no place in Britain. In my 6 years as Home Secretary I saw the pain and suffering it causes – and the consequences when we fail to act. As Prime Minister, I am determined to make Britain a place where all our communities can flourish and all people – whatever their background, can go as far as their talents will take them. That means stamping out sickening and shameful hate crime.

Everybody living in this country is equal and everybody is free to lead their lives as they see fit. We are free to practise any faith, follow any religious denomination, or ignore religion altogether.

We have one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world continuing to protect communities from hostility, violence, homophobia and bigotry but we need to do more.

It is completely unacceptable for people to suffer abuse or attacks because of their nationality, ethnic background or colour of their skin. This government will not stand for it.

We have already taken steps to improve our collective response to hate crime. Police forces now ensure that the recording of religion-based hate crime now includes the faith of the victim. The Crown Prosecution Service has issued new guidance to prosecutors on racially aggravated crime, and we have provided funding for protective security at vulnerable institutions and for community organisations to help tackle hate crime.

We have published the Hate crime action plan which includes working with schools to equip teachers and parents to challenge hatred and know how to report it. And we are working directly with communities to challenge the harms that they see every day as a result of hate crime, including a £2.4 million fund for security for places of worship, and new funding for projects that tackle hate crime in communities.

But we must go further. As long as hate crime exists, we must challenge ourselves to do more. Because, as I said on the steps of Downing Street, my mission is to make Britain a country that works for everyone. Hate crime of any kind, directed against any community, race or religion, has absolutely no place in British society.

Together, by standing against hate and for tolerance, we can build a better and more united Britain that works for everyone.”

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.

 

National Hate Crime Awareness Week Poster

We are pleased to attach the official National Hate Crime Awareness Week poster, giving more details of the launch event at St Paul’s Cathedral, on Saturday 8th October 2016. Please feel free to download and display this poster around your organisation and social media.

It would be amazing to see as many people as possible getting involved in the week’s events and, perhaps, even organising their very own events themselves!

You can download a copy of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week Poster here.

Stop Hate UK is proud to be an official partner in National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Look out for #NHCAW on our Twitter and Facebook pages and right across social media.

Stop Hate UK is proud to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week

National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Saturday 8th-Saturday 15th October 2016

Stop Hate UK are once again proud to be working in partnership with the charity, 17-24-30, to coordinate and promote National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016.

17-24-30 was set up in 2009 by Mark Healey and Ryan Parkins following the London bombings in 1999 so that we would never forget the 139 people who were killed or injured. National Hate Crime Awareness Week has since become a focus each year for individuals and organisations, large and small, to show their commitment to stopping hate.

The week begins on Saturday 8th October with a service of Hope and Remembrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral, to remember all those who have lost their lives because of Hate Crime and all those who have been affected by it. (Click here for the full launch event information)

During the week various events and initiatives will be held throughout the country by charitable and voluntary organisations, statutory agencies such as the police, police and crime commissioners, local authorities – and many others. Through information stalls, campaigns and social media these agencies will be working together to raise awareness about the different ways to report Hate Crime and the support services that exist to help those who are affected. You can see the Guide to holding your own event by clicking here

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said:

“National Hate Crime Awareness Week is always a wonderful event, as it sees so many organisations working together to raise awareness about Hate Crime. Hate Crime across all monitored strands – disability, faith, gender identity, race and sexual orientation is a much under-reported crime. It’s important that we all continue to work together to ensure that those people who have been impacted by Hate Crime know where and how they can access support and the different options available to them. We want to see all perpetrators brought to justice and our communities made safer.”

Stop Hate UK and 17-24-30 have released a joint press release, which you can read by clicking here.

We hope as many people as possible participate in National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Keby looking for #NHCAW right across social media.

 

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.

New report shows extent of post referendum racism

The following report has been collected and collated by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch and, sadly, shows a similar picture was seen right across the UK, in terms of incidents of post referendum racism.

The reports describe gangs prowling the streets demanding passers-by prove they can speak English, offensive messages and symbols being drawn on house doors and many verbal assaults.

Worryingly, other incidents include toddlers being racially abused alongside their mothers, and children involved in both as perpetrators and the targets of the abuse.

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Stop Hate UK welcomes the release of this report and we’ll also shortly be issuing a report, based on our own Helpline statistics, pre and post ‘Brexit’.

By presenting a united stance of zero tolerance towards any kind of Hate Crime, organisations like ourselves and the sites mentioned above can really make a difference in helping all those affected by Hate Crime.

Response to Government Hate Crime Action Plan

At the time of writing, we have just witnessed yet more atrocities across France and Germany and, yet again, words fail us as to why these senseless, cowardly acts keep on happening and our thoughts and condolences go out to all the people involved and affected.

On the same day, the British Government reaffirmed its pledge to tackling Hate Crime in the UK, with newly appointed Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announcing the Government’s Action Plan on Hate Crime.

Stop Hate UK welcomes this plan and is pleased to see the Government moving to recognise the seriousness of such crimes and why there has to be a zero tolerance approach to any form of Hate Crime.

No one should want to live in a society filled with hate and it should not be commonplace, in today’s world, to simply accept these horrendous acts as ‘part of life’. Hate crime, in any form, is not welcome here and we must stand together to tackle it and rid our society of such harrowing incidents.

Obviously, the recent increases in reported incidents of Hate Crime (since the referendum result) are deeply saddening and has felt like a real backwards step for the UK as a whole, in its attempts to stamp out Hate Crime; but let’s not kid ourselves. Racism, hate, intolerance – call it what you will – is still an odious undercurrent in the UK and, for some, the referendum result was merely a vehicle to jump on the back of and vent draconian views, like they suddenly had a right to do, which, of course, they did not.

It is the Government’s duty to spearhead the campaign against hate, working with organisations, like Stop Hate UK, to set out a clear message of zero tolerance, so we are pleased to see the Action Plan’s pledge of help where it is needed, particularly the promise of new training and advice for schools and journalists, improving victims’ support and creating a database of racist symbols so police can recognise them.

As an organisation that provides 24-hour support to anyone affected by Hate Crime, we are here for anyone who is targeted or is a witness to Hate Crime. Therefore, we want to see a more robust, consistent and accessible approach across the UK to independent reporting services. We hope that this focus on Hate Crime will lead towards this and, also, an understanding that to stop Hate Crime we need to ensure that we are all able to get support when we need it.

Over the next few days, Stop Hate UK will be publishing its own report, based on our Helpline statistics, comparing the 4 weeks prior to the referendum, to the 4 weeks directly after and we expect this to reaffirm the need for everyone to present a united stance on Hate Crime.

The message is clear – Hate Crime has no place in today’s society and no place at the table. No one should live in fear because of their disability, faith, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, age, alternative sub-culture, or any other part of their identity.