Staff from Victim Support Warwickshire recently attended a Hate Crime Awareness Workshop delivered by the Equality and Inclusion Partnership (EQuIP).Read more...
The Guardian recently produced two articles explaining how hate crime affects the whole community and how people need to report, in order to bring positive change.
Two articles about hate crime in the same edition: one by a victim (I was victim of a hate crime: I can’t stay silent, Anita Sethi, 24 June 2019) and the other about victims (Two men left injured in homophobic knife attack by young boys).
The Guardian report that hate crime is an everyday occurrence for a large number of ethnic minority, religious minority, LGBT, disabled and trans citizens.
In their important research, Kusminder Chahal and Louis Julienne (1999) described the impact on their interviewees and others: family relations between spouses were affected, health and wellbeing of individuals were compromised and there was a sense of social isolation because friends and relatives were less likely to visit. Children were not allowed to play outside and, in some cases, had problems at school.
It is clear that in such crimes not only do the victim and their family suffer, but others in the same minority category do, too. They are known as “message crimes”, because they send a message out that anybody with the victim’s characteristics is not welcome in the community.
Research has shown that this type of crime is more damaging and disrespectful than non-aggravated versions of the same offences, such as criminal damage, public order offences or common assault. People will be more ready to report this type of crime if there is support and a clearly identified group of specialised sentencers to stem the rising tide of such behaviour.
EQuIP, who are an independent charity based in Warwickshire, help address hate crimes by working with key agencies such as the Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Warwickshire County Council and various other organisations.
EQuIP provide various platforms for people to come forward and report hate crimes/incidents. Benji Evans from EQuIP explained that hate crime is happening on a daily basis. He also added 'We are fully aware that hate crime is a huge concern in Warwickshire and it has increased year-on-year in recent years. If you consider the official police statistics and the reports that come through to our charity, hate crime is really affecting some individuals, their families and surrounding community'.
Evans also added 'although it is alarming to see so many reports coming through, it is a good indicator when so many people are coming forward to report hate crime. Through our partnership working with the relevant agencies, we are able to take each report and us this intelligence to help prevent future hate crime, but also address historical hate crime by getting perpetrators arrested so they can pay the price for their crimes'.
If any person experiences or witnesses any form of hate crime, they should always report. There are various ways to report, depending on how much information people wish to give.
You can ring the Police by calling 101 in a non-emergency situation, but always call 999 in an emergency.
In Warwickshire, some people do not wish to contact the police directly, so they can report hate crimes/incidents to EQuIP. You can report online via the www.reporthatenow.com website, email EQuIP: email@example.com, or people wishing to report would prefer to speak to someone in person, you can contact telephone EQuIP on 01788 863117.