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Stop Hate Crime – Recommendations

WARNING:

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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The recommendations of this research are wide-ranging a demand multi-agency responses. They fall into four categories: understanding; reporting; responding and preventing.

In addition, it is recommended that North Yorkshire Police and partners develop a ‘push / pull’ strategy based around the four categories, beginning with understanding what hate crime means to victims, through to the most appropriate responses and working reporting mechanisms.

  • Public ‘push’ – ensuring that the public and potential victims are informed and empowered to report hate crime and that the appropriate services and channels are in place to enable them to do so
  • Service ‘pull’ – proactive identification of people and communities at risk and training of officers and partners to ‘pull’ them into response, reassurance, preventative and support services as needed

Understanding

  • NYP to review and confirm their own definition of hate crime and make this is publicly available in appropriate formats for all groups (e.g. easy read, BSL, speech etc.). Introduce the specific disability hate crime definition outlined in the CJJI report 2013/15 to all relevant partners
    • Ensure that the revised definition provides an educational function: involve diverse groups to explain to staff, officers and other stakeholders what hate crime really looks like
  • To deter offending, use best practice from here and elsewhere to work with partners to develop education streams to inform young people about hate crime and the protected characteristics. Consider how this links with the Young Person’s strategy and other programmes within North Yorkshire Police and with partners, especially Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and local authorities
  • Analyse police and partner data, including dip sampling hate crime incidents reported to NYP to inform practice and develop targeted interventions in districts and within communities where hate crime is more frequent or communities are at risk. Identify which communities are most at risk in each geographical area and work with local organisations including the third sector to reassure, develop relationships and increase reporting
  • Develop the role of Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs to be more than a ‘critical friend’ to the police and offer specific, structured insights about diverse communities. IAGs could be utilised in a different way as an information source to provide guidance to the police about specific nuances of diverse communities
    • Harrogate IAG was granted £2530 from the NYP Partnership Hub budget 2014/15. Consider how to support all four IAGs to achieve best engagement and support

Reporting

  • Carry out a fundamental review of reporting mechanisms, including third party reporting centres and develop a new programme based around user need. Ensure that reporting mechanisms are effectively marketed so that services are fully accessible and people understand how they can report incidents.
  • Internally, review existing methods for contacting North Yorkshire Police and the accessibility of these options, both emergency and non-emergency. Use findings from the First Contact Review (due to report September 2015) to improve access for all, ensuring that services are designed around people (consider online chat, video messaging, etc.)
    • Specifically, review current methods of communication with disability groups, particularly deaf/hard of hearing and those with speech impediments. Work with BSL users to give practical advice to officers and public facing staff to maximise communication where an interpreter is not readily available
  • Evaluate Stop Hate UK programme in North Yorkshire and York following implementation in spring 2015. Assess effectiveness and value for money, considering alternative options and improvements in performance

Responding

  • There is an apparent lack of confidence in NYP to respond to perceived ’low level’ crime. The high level of unreported incidents indicates that hate crime is a problem that is not being understood effectively. In addition, feedback from victims suggests low level hate crime can be seen and treated as anti-social behaviour
    • Even when hate crime is ‘no further action-ed,’ officers must be confident in recommending and advising on support networks, specifically Supporting Victims; Stop Hate UK and local networks such as YREN
    • Consider how victims could be utilised to contribute to improved response and understanding of hate crime by officers. Build on the work done in the past using victim videos
  • Review staff and officer training:
    • Measure how effective current Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) training is against demographics of North Yorkshire and York – is it tailored to the makeup of the region? Are there gaps, for example the Ghurkas have their own culture and are NYP able to respond effectively to their needs?
    • Ensure sufficient awareness is given of different disabilities and suitable and available methods of response. For example, the deployment of non-uniformed officers to vulnerable people who may be frightened of the police
    • Review LGBT and BME training for officers and staff to ensure that awareness of diverse groups is current. Encourage officers to ask questions sensitively and check how individuals wish to be addressed.

Preventing

  • NYP to review existing crime prevention advice and, working with local disability groups, produce appropriate format information on safety and where to seek help and advice, improving engagement with those communities. Link with the Crime Prevention Strategy.
  • Consider how partners and volunteers could speak to diverse groups as part of crime prevention and community safety role. Understand what cultural opportunities exist to build relationships and who is best placed to develop them
  • Consider hate crime on public transport as a serious risk, particularly to those with disabilities
    • Work with local authorities, BTP and other partners to address issues surrounding transport, identify which routes are most problematic and why
    • Establish a review board to implement changes with key partners and organisations such as York Independent Living and Travel Skills (YILTS)
    • Research if BTP have any existing methods to prevent hate-related abuse and crime on transport
  • Work with taxi drivers, restaurant owners, door staff and others working in the Night Time Economy to raise awareness of racism and how to report it
    • Include hate crime as part of vulnerability training for York NTE
    • Highlight hate crime as a priority in the alcohol strategy