Taking Action against Hate Crime

Event Title: Taking Action against Hate Crime: Preventing Hate Crime, Prosecuting Perpetrators and Supporting Victims.

Organiser: Public Policy Exchange

Date: 14 June 2018

Location: London, UK

EJN Participation: The EJN’s Aidan White will deliver a 15 minute presentation as part of an hour long presentation session alongside three more speakers, and take part in a 45 minutes long Q&A/ open floor discussion session.

Website: https://www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/IF14-PPE

According to recent Home Office data (October 2017), there were 80,393 hate crime offences recorded in 2016/17, compared with 62,518 the year before. This 29% annual increase is the largest rise since 2011, when hate crime figures were first recorded. Whilst this increase can be partially attributed to greater reporting and improved crime recording, the Home Office report is unequivocal in detailing a genuine rise in hate crime, particularly around the EU Referendum and the days immediately following the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks in 2017. Race was deemed to be a motivating factor in nearly 80% of recorded hate crime incidents. Sexual orientation was a factor for 11% of incidents, with religious hate crime accounting for 7%.

In response to increasing hate crime, the Home Office published its four year Hate Crime Action Plan in July 2016, outlining Government actions to prevent and respond to hate crime. These included efforts to; increase reporting, improve victim support and develop our understanding of hate crime. Moreover, responding to the significant rise of online hate abuse, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, announced plans for greater prosecutions and stiffer penalties for online abusers in August 2017. Significantly, of the 801 incidents of anti-Muslim hatred documented by Tell MAMA in 2015, 73% were online. Additionally, in August 2017, the CPS published guidance outlining factors to be considered when reviewing cases classified as Disability Hate Crime.

However, despite the positive steps, significant progress is still required to prevent and respond to hate crime and improve support for victims. Hate crime victims are more likely to suffer repeat victimisation and, consequently, serious psychological impacts (Home Office, Action Against Hate, 2016). According to the CPS Victim and Witness Satisfaction Survey (2015) victims of hate crime were less likely to be satisfied with the final charges, and referred to victim support, than the overall average.

This timely symposium therefore offers an invaluable opportunity for local authorities, the police, legal professionals and third sector practitioners, to analyse the increase in hate crime and strengthen working partnerships to ensure that hate crime in all forms is tackled effectively in every local community. It will also provide all relevant stakeholders with a platform to discuss ways of overcoming challenges and ensuring Britain remains a place of tolerance and inclusivity.

Delegates will:

  • Evaluate the implementation of the Hate Crime Action Plan 2016-2020 two years on

  • Understand the rising prevalence of hate crime online and consider ways to tackle it

  • Determine how to encourage and increase the reporting of hate crime and consider the role of third party reporting

  • Explore ways to improve the police response to hate crime

  • Understand the benefits of partnership working in responding to hate crime in local areas

  • Examine the role of schools in educating on challenging topics, such as racism, prejudice and hate crime

  • Discuss how to improve access to victim support services

  • Consider the role of the media, politicians and community groups in challenging hate crime in the public sphere

Background: Public Policy Exchange organise interactive seminars which offer a vital interface for policy discussion, debate and networking. PPE events provide opportunities for local practitioners, civil servants and other stakeholders to gain an insight into current policy thinking and inform future developments across all areas of public policy.