MEND Preston: Hate Crime and Cohesion Unit
Categories: Past Event Articles
Friday September 25 2020
On Thursday 17th September, MEND Preston set up a meeting with the Hate Crime and Cohesion Unit at Lancashire Constabulary. The team felt it was important to arrange this meeting to discuss how the work we’re doing locally can overlap with the work of the unit, especially with Islamophobia Awareness Month coming up.
During the meeting, we discussed the work of the unit and how they are ensuring that hate crimes are reported accurately. It is essential that crimes relating to Islamophobia are recorded correctly in order for an accurate picture of this issue to be painted. By knowing the extent of it, those with the power to enact policies can ensure that enough resources are put in to address necessary issues.
The Unit also spoke about the importance of the community engagement work that they do. They talked about some of the activity they have carried out in the past and how they aim to continue this in a COVID-19 world, including during hate crime awareness week coming up in October. During our conversation, we also discussed the importance of ensuring that teams that work to address disparity, discrimination and other forms of disadvantage have members within their ranks that have lived experience of the issues that are being addressed. The unit spoke about the initiatives Lancashire Constabulary have in place to address the lack of diversity and representation as is seen in forces across the country. They talked about the successes and drawbacks of these initiatives and what more needs to be done to bridge the gap.
Speaking to the unit, their data patterns showed the same trends that are seen in MEND’s own data, and national statistics as well. Namely, that global incidents and specific events like Brexit lead to spikes in Islamophobic hate crimes. We’re pleased that the team in Preston were happy to take a meeting with us and we hope that this initial meeting is the start of our continued engagement with the unit.