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Stop Hate Crime – Hypotheses and methodology


This report contains offensive language. These are examples of hate crime that were expressed over the course of this research. This language has not been censored as it is important to understand the nature of this type of crime as it occurs.

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This research centres on the experiences of residents of North Yorkshire and York who live in, or belong to, diverse communities. To ensure that these views and experiences are understood and used by the police and partners accurately, the following hypotheses will be tested throughout each of the strand discussions:

  1. Diverse groups have no relationship with the police in North Yorkshire and York
  2. There are barriers to reporting hate crime
  3. Victims become victims because they are different in some way
  4. There is an established ‘norm’
  5. There is a heightened sensitivity to hate crime
  6. Police response to hate crime is poor

These hypotheses will, if accurate, explain the impact of hate crime on the personal safety of individuals and why hate crime is not reported to the police (or other agencies). For each of the strands of diversity, these hypotheses will be referred to, through an explanation of three main discussion points:

  • Understanding of hate crime as a crime in and of itself
  • Relationships with the police in diverse communities
  • Psychological barriers of victims

These three areas became apparent throughout the discussions as the main reasons why hate crime was underreported. The personal experiences of those who participated in the focus groups will provide evidence to support these discussions. This evidence will lead to recommendations for NYP and partners to implement and develop responses to hate crime.

Focus groups

This research primarily centred on structured focus groups held across North Yorkshire and York. Seventeen groups of individuals and representatives of social diversities took place between March and June 2015: a full list of participating organisations can be found at Appendix A.

The focus groups followed a set of pre-determined questions (see Appendix B). These questions established the main areas of discussions, specifically, a lack of understanding of what hate crime actually is; relationships with the police and perceived barriers to reporting due to individual circumstances.