Stop Hate Crime – Summary
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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Victims of hate crime require a substantial response from police and other key agencies that is currently lacking.
There is little understanding within diverse communities that hate and abuse is a type of crime, along with uncertainty of officers on how to support victims. The sense that ‘nothing can be done’ deters victims from speaking to the police (or alternative reporting mechanisms), based on previous experience.
NYP has over 55 hate crime reporting centres, a contract with Stop Hate UK for North Yorkshire and York victims, enhanced entitlement provisions in the Supporting Victims service, and a range of accessible methods for contacting the police including (non) emergency text phone and emergency SMS. All of these methods are widely underused. Officer understanding of service availability is required, alongside a substantial, targeted and sustained communication plan to ensure that those who have the potential to become victims of hate crime know who can offer support. Victims should not have to ‘put up with’ abuse because they do not know who to turn to.
It is challenging to train all officers and staff about the details of all of the diverse groups in North Yorkshire and York. Officers should be encouraged to ask questions about cultures, religions, disabilities and sexualities in safe environments, developing their personal and professional development and working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Equality and diversity training should be tailored to the communities in the area: for example, we know that North Yorkshire and York has an ageing population; a high proportion of people living with disability; and growing numbers of Eastern European and Asian populations on the east coast, York and Skipton. Training should include input from these communities where practicable.
Public transport and the Night Time Economy areas are two key environments where hate crime takes place most frequently. NYP must work with partners in transport, including the British Transport Police and local providers, as well as local service users (primarily those with disabilities) to target known problem routes. NYP already has a strong relationship with partners in York to increase safety in the NTE, which must be extended to raise awareness of hate crime in alcohol-fuelled situations. Preventative measures can deter crime and ensure that residents and visitors can be safe and feel safe.