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Police urge hate crime reporting during National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Police urge hate crime reporting during National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Categories: Latest News

Monday October 20 2014

South Wales Argus, The Telegraph and Argus, The Bolton News, Crawley and Horley Observer, Peterborough Telegraph, Burton Mail, The Argus, Nottingham Post and Hartlepool Mail all report on the efforts of local police forces and elected Police and Crime Commissioners to tackle hate crime during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Media coverage of the awareness raising campaigns comes after the release of hate crime statistics in England and Wales by the Home Office yesterday.

Gwent’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Paul Harris and Gwent Police Superintendent Mark Warrender met Muslim community leaders at Jami Mosque in Pill, Newport. The meeting was held in the wake of a recent hate crime survey in Wales which found that 15% of religious hate crime victims attempted to conceal their religion to reduce the risk of victimisation.

Warrender noted that of the 250 hate crimes reported to the Gewnt police every year, only a handful of hate crimes are linked to religion and faith. He further raised concerns that “The numbers don’t reflect what is going on”.

Indeed, the Home Office report on hate crime last year observed the low levels of hate crime reporting. An epidemic of underreporting of hate crime was further documented by the University of Leicester’s Hate Crime Project research study.

The Telegraph and Argus reported on an initiative by West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns Williamson, to improve the force’s response to hate crime. The paper notes that the police have introduced an online reporting system and are further making improvements to data collection and recording of hate incidents such as including sub-categories for the recording of faith.

Other police forces, such as Sussex Police and Cleveland Police, have additionally developed networks of hate crime ambassadors to raise awareness of hate crimes and encourage the public to report incidents.

Figures released by Sussex Police show that between April 2013 and March 2014, a total of 1,009 hate crimes were reported. Of these, a total of 158 crimes occurred in Crawley.

ITV News reports on the efforts of Bedfordshire Police to introduce the recording of Islamophobia under a separate crime flag and the noted increase in the number of people reporting hate crimes in the region.

Newcastle’s Chronicle reports on the fears of Muslims in Tyneside after ISIS related graffiti was painted onto walls in the western part of the city. Northumbria Police released data showing an increase in reported hate crime in the region up from 579 in 2012/13 to 683 in 2013/14.

PCC Vera Baird iterated her commitment to tackle hate crime stating:

“Overall these figures represent a commitment from this force to tackle the crimes that have the most impact on people and their daily lives. Hate crime will not be tolerated in Northumbria and I’m totally committed to tackling all types of hate crime in our communities. We want people to have the confidence to report any incident or seek help or advice about any issue they think might be a hate crime.”

Cllr Dipu Ahad of Newcastle City Council spoke to the paper about the palpable fear among Muslims in Newcastle saying “Any time something happens the whole of the Muslim community is targeted and blamed. It was the same during the murder of Lee Rigby.

“I’m not saying it’s everyone but they are feeling that people are targeting them, they do feel it.”


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