Empowering people to tackle hate crime

‘In memory of Stuart Hall for his passion and hard work to improve the lives of disabled people in the North East’.

Background

Tackling Hate Together captures findings from a 2008 survey of North East Police forces, local authorities and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (now called Community Safety Partnerships). This identified a lack of action to tackle disability and transphobic hate crime and a lack of specialist support available to victims of hate crime within the region.

Empowering people to tackle hate crime: Trans women and disabled people working together with victim services in North East England.

To address these findings, the Commission’s North East team commissioned a project  to explore how disabled people and trans people, who had been victims of hate crime, could be empowered to improve criminal justice and community safety agency responses and the support provided to other victims of hate crime.

Vision Sense (a user led organisation of disabled people), Gay Advice Darlington and Durham (an organisation working with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people) and Victim Support (a mainstream service provider) were commissioned to deliver this project.

These organisations brought together a group of volunteers from a range of different backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences; work together to address a shared problem; identify what can to done to provide better services to victims of hate crime and how victims can be involved in this work in the future.

Empowering people to tackle hate crime is a guide that captures the group’s learning and makes six prioritised recommendations to improve services provided to victims of hate crime.

  1. Give us dignity and respect; public services are failing us
  2. We want a strong voice
  3. Extend services to tackle disability and transphobic hate crime
  4. Victim Support must work to secure full access and diversity
  5. Victim personal statements have an important role in justice and sentencing hate crimes
  6. Tackle hate crimes in future plans and resources

The Commission believes service providers should implement these recommendations and hopes that the work of this dedicated and passionate group can provide inspiration, ideas and learning to encourage others to explore similar issues and empower victims, who are the real experts on hate crime, to develop solutions to this problem.

We hosted an event in Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday 16 March 2010 to promote the learning from the guide and celebrate the vital contribution that the volunteers made to the project. This event brought together people from a range of criminal justice, community safety and voluntary and community organisations.

Delegates discussed how the evidence from this project can be used to improve their policy and practice; promote good relations and the human rights of trans people and disabled people. They also explored the potential for the learning to be extended across all equality groups and how the guide could help community safety partnerships to meet their responsibility, under the cross government hate crime action plan, to work with people to produce hate crime action plans by December 2010.

The Commission are considering hosting another event within the next year to bring people back together to say how things had changed and what lessons had been learnt in working to empower victims of hate crime to tackle this problem in the region.

An important part of the Commission’s role is to define, promote and publish good practice. We encourage anyone who has read this report and uses it to help develop similar work in their area to share their learning with the Commission.
Please email goodrelations@equalityhumanrights.com if you would like to discuss and share your learning and experience on this issue. 

Downloads

Empowering people to tackle hate crime (PDF)
Empowering people to tackle hate crime (Word)

Tackling Hate Together 2008 Survey report (PDF)
Tackling Hate Together 2008 Survey report (Word)

Last Updated: 14 Jun 2009