Multi-agency approach to National Hate Crime Awareness Week

This story was published 12 October 2020

Multi-agency approach to tackle Hate and Mate Crime in York and North Yorkshire

Stop Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2020 will run between 10 and 17 October.

Partner agencies in York and North Yorkshire have teamed up to highlight these often hidden yet deeply damaging forms of crime with the aim to:

  • Increase the reporting of hate and mate crime
  • Promote support services and projects available both locally and nationally
  • Provide reassurance to those who may be subject to incidents of hate and mate crime

Made up of specialist representatives from community safety partnerships, local authorities, emergency services and other key partners including the Youth Commission, the Hate Crime Working Group has planned a programme of online coverage and activities throughout the week based on the following themes:

Monday 12 October

  • What is a Hate Crime?
  • What support is available?
  • How do you report it?

Tuesday 13 October

  • What is Mate Crime and how do you report it?
  • Young people urged to play the KYMSGAME (Keeping Your Mates Safe) developed by the Youth Commission
  • Find out about the “We Care” scheme
  • Highlight the services provided by Supporting Victims

Wednesday 14 October

  • Prevent – raise awareness about how seemingly low-level community tensions related to hate crime can develop into extremist behaviour

Thursday 15 October

  • Safe Places – what is the Safe Places scheme? How can people affected by hate crime become members in both York and North Yorkshire?

Friday 16 October (and continued over the weekend)

  • Modern Slavery – Raising awareness about how to spot signs of Modern Slavery which include elements of Hate Crime.

During National Hate Crime Awareness Week, all the agencies involved will use the hashtag #helpnothate2020 on related social media posts.

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “Having spoken to many victims of hate crime, I know the shattering impact it can have on lives, livelihoods and families. To be targeted because of who you are is absolutely unacceptable.

“Too many think that the issue is not a serious one for North Yorkshire and York. My message to everyone is that it is, and we can only tackle hate crime if victims report offences to the police – no matter how hard that might be.

However, support is available from our excellent Supporting Victims team whether or not the incident has been reported.”

Dr Justin Ives, Chair of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership and Chief Executive of Hambleton District Council, said: “Hate Crime and Community Cohesion is a strategic priority for North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership (NYCSP).

“As chair of the NYCSP, I welcome this week of awareness, to focus specifically on showcasing some of excellent partnership work that exists to address some of the issues that happen in our communities.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for Safer Communities at City of York Council, said: “Hate crime is unacceptable and should have no place in our society. We’re saying to everyone in York: ‘Let’s be safe, considerate and welcoming’, a message which extends to the way we all treat each other, regardless of disability, race or religion, sexuality or gender. I urge anyone experiencing hate crime to report it to the police so that together we can stop it.”

Odette Robson, Head of Safer Communities, North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Members of the multi-agency Hate Crime Working Group are keen to use this week to showcase the support and interventions available to support those who are impacted by hate crime and incidents.

“We would also like to use the week to raise awareness of our multi-agency partnership, which has representation from organisations and agencies across North Yorkshire and York.

“As chair of the group, I would like to thank all those partners and individuals who are actively involved in raising awareness and will continue to support those in need.”

Superintendent Mark Khan, North Yorkshire Police’s Hate Crime lead, said: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week is a welcome opportunity for us all to shine a bright light on this disturbing issue which often remains in the shadows and, we strongly suspect, largely goes unreported.

“Targeting hate at a person because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender is a crime which can have a devastating impact upon individuals and whole neighbourhoods.

“Festering at the very heart of Hate Crime and Mate Crime is prejudice – prejudice against a person which can cause significant distress and harm. Often, victims are too scared to stand up for themselves.

“It is therefore vital that we provide as much collective support to victims as possible, and ensure that any information about suspected Hate or Mate Crimes are reported to the police or to Supporting Victims.

“We all have a role to play to tackle these despicable crimes and we call upon your support to help put an end to it for good.”

Play your part to put an end to Hate Crime

Hate Crime is an offence that is committed against a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender or disability.

It can take many forms such as verbal, physical or sexual assault, threats of violence and damage to property.

Hate Crime can happen anywhere. At home, work, on public transport, when out socially and online.

How to report Hate Crime

We strongly encourage people to report all incidents of hate to the police.

For example, if someone has shouted a name or made an offensive gesture towards you, or committed a more serious crime that you believe was because of your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability, you should not hesitate to tell the police.

  • Please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room
  • If you feel threatened and are in immediate danger, always dial 999 for an emergency response
  • You can also report hate crime and seek help from Supporting Victims whether or not the incident has been reported to the police. Please go to Supporting Victims or call 01609 643100.

Why it is vitally important to make a report

We want to know about all incidents of hate and we will always follow up and investigate your report.

It may sound obvious, but for a report of hate to be recorded as a crime, a law must have been broken and a crime must have been committed. If this is the case, and we have enough evidence to satisfy the Crown Prosecution Service, we will always look to support a prosecution.

If, following investigation, the result is that a law has not been broken, a crime has not been committed and a prosecution cannot be pursued, we will still record your report as a hate incident and you will still be offered support.

We understand that not being able to pursue a prosecution is disappointing to victims of hate and we recognise the upsetting experience they have been through.

However, it is important to report and record hate incidents, as it help us to understand and build a picture of intelligence, which will inform our local policing resourcing decisions.

For example, if we know through reports of hate that there is a local ‘hot-spot’ where incidents are happening, we can change our patrols routes to ensure our officers and PCSOs are visible in the area.

Reporting all incidents hate to the police also means that we can engage with support services, and ensure you can get access to the help and advice you may need, to help you move past the experience and feel safer.

Don’t want to report to the police? Help is still available

Please be reassured that North Yorkshire Police takes all reports of hate very seriously and we would always recommend that you speak to the police in the first instance.

However, we recognise that not everyone feels comfortable contacting the police, so there are other places where you can report to and access help, advice and support.

Below is a list of some key charities and organisations who can help you:

  • Supporting Victims (dedicated service for North Yorkshire)

Report hate crime and seek help from Supporting Victims whether or not the incident has been reported to the police. Please go to Supporting Victims or call 01609 643100.

True Vision is a website which was set up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council to allow people to report Hate Crime and hate incidents online. You can report all types of Hate Crime via True Vision and the website also provides lots of advice and guidance on where to get help and support.

Tell MAMA supports victims of anti-Muslim hate and also measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents. You can report to Tell MAMA via telephone, email, SMS text message, Facebook or Twitter. Visit their website for more information.

CST stands for Community Security Trust, which is a charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism and related threats. You can report an incident to CST on their website or via their contact number 0800 032 3263. CST has a dedicated team which deals with anti-Semitic incidents and provides victim support, while respecting your confidentiality at all times.

Galop is an LGBT+ anti-violence charity who support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse. Galop is completely independent – they are a community-led group and are not connected to police. You can talk to them anonymously if you choose. Visit their website or call them on 020 7704 2040.

The most important thing is to tell someone and get some help. Hate is not something that you have to live with. Please report it so we can make it stop.

If you have witnessed hate crime, but you were not the victim

You do not have to be the victim of hate crime to report it to police.

If you have witnessed an incident, you can still make a report to the police on 101 or to any of the above organisations.

Take a stand and help tackle Hate Crime

Hate crime shatters communities. It causes fear and division and leaves its victims living in fear.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up to hate and to not accept it in our communities. If you see something, please do something and report it.