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13 October, 2022

Stand together to make sure hate has no home here in North Yorkshire

Commissioner Zoë joins key agencies across York and North Yorkshire who are all standing together with local communities to drive out hate crime and in particular, misogyny, which affects thousands of people each year.

To mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week which started on Saturday 8 October 2022, the countywide Inclusive Communities Joint Coordinating Group is empowering people to take action against hate crime. Reporting it, supporting each other by being an active bystander and ensuring it is never tolerated in our communities.

The theme for the 2022 week in North Yorkshire is misogyny, a type of hate crime where someone is targeted because they are female.

Since May 2017, North Yorkshire Police has recognised incidents carried out by men and boys targeted at women and girls, simply because of their gender, as misogyny hate crime.

Examples of this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; sexually graphic and explicit obscene language; use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

Many of these are offences in their own right, but the fact this is classed as a form of hate crime means it can be recognised as an aggravating feature.

Zoë Metcalfe, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and York said:  

“An act of misogyny is ALWAYS a hate crime, and I’m thrilled that our Inclusive Communities Group is improving this public understanding and raising awareness during Hate Crime Awareness Week.

“Keeping women and girls safe – and ensuring they feel safe – is not something that one organisation, group or emergency service can deliver on their own. It is only by coming together, being honest about the problems and creative in finding solutions that will bring about the real change needed.

“In my Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy I outline how community partners and I will raise awareness and promote zero tolerance of all forms of gender inequality and VAWG, with initial focus on challenging misogyny from a young age, street harassment, the domestic violence disclosure scheme, spiking incidents, sexual exploitation, illegal cultural harms and stalking in all its forms.

“These issues are not the responsibility of women and girls to solve. It never has been and It never will be. Together, everyone must drive a societal change and although we have already made progress, there is still much more to do.”

North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, Chair of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership, said:

“We can all work together to take a stand against misogyny and drive this damaging behaviour out of our communities.

“The first step is in recognising and reporting any instances of hate crime. If you don’t feel comfortable ringing the police, you can report online via our website or get help from many other organisations who will support you in reporting it, as well as helping you deal with the often damaging effects it can have.

“The next step is standing together and supporting each other so we can all feel strong in challenging hate crime and misogynistic behaviour. We are all clear that we will not tolerate this behaviour in our communities and by understanding how to be an active bystander, everyone can play a role.

“We have around 1,000 hate crimes* reported each year in North Yorkshire and around four per cent of those are misogyny. We know there will be many more that are not reported and that’s one of the key aims for Hate Crime Awareness Week.

“Throughout the week we’ll be taking part in roadshows, workshops and events with our partners across North Yorkshire to help our communities recognise hate crime and to have the confidence to report it.”

You can find a list of all local events at the end of this release or by visiting the various agencies’ websites.

A number of online workshops and sessions for professionals and members of the public are being run throughout the week. Find full details here: Hate Crime Awareness Week 10th-14th October 2022 | North Yorkshire Partnerships (nypartnerships.org.uk)

Being an active bystander

If you recognise that something is happening, perhaps in the street or when you are out socialising and you believe that the behaviour you are witnessing is harmful – for example, someone is being verbally abusive to another because of their race or religion, or someone is acting inappropriately towards another person who may be vulnerable in that moment, there are four steps you can consider.

Firstly – only intervene if it is safe to do so. If you are happy to proceed you could

  • DISTRACT – Distract the person who is acting inappropriately. Ask them the time or directions to the bar or toilets. By causing a distraction it breaks their pattern of behaviour and also gives the target of that behaviour a chance to move away from the situation.
  • DIRECT – If it is safe to do so, you could directly address the issue by telling the person that their behaviour is not ok. By acting directly, you may be the first person to ever confront their behaviour and challenge their thinking.
  • DELEGATE – If you think the situation you have witnessed has the potential to become harmful and you don’t feel it’s safe to challenge it, get some help. Perhaps a friend could assist, a member of staff or someone in a position of responsibility. If it’s an emergency and someone is at imminent risk of harm, call the police on 999.
  • DELAY – If it’s too dangerous and you can’t get help, wait for the situation to pass but check the victim is ok and offer support. It’s really important to also report this incident to the police too. While the incident may have passed and it may be too late for the police to send an emergency response, the information you pass onto them will form part of an overall picture of intelligence that they can use to prevent harm again.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Carl Les, leader of the council and executive member for safer communities, said:

“Hate crime can blight lives, so we cannot allow it to be a hidden offence. It is beholden on all of us to be aware, to recognise incidents and report them when we see them.  The platform of Hate Crime Awareness Week can help us to support this.

“Through the multi-agency Inclusive Communities Joint Coordinating Group, we will use this week to showcase the support and interventions available to help those who are affected by hate crime. This partnership brings together organisations and agencies across North Yorkshire and York to raise awareness and support those in need.”

Head of Safer Communities, North Yorkshire County Council, Odette Robson said:

“Members of the multi-agency Inclusive Communities Joint Coordinating 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, that 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.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities at City of York Council, said:

“Misogyny, a hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women, is unacceptable and is a hate crime. This include sexism and chauvinism in all its manifestations. Society and attitudes have come a long way, but girls and women are still subjected to a spectrum of hate crimes which can start with verbal abuse and escalate to violence.

“Please take the time to learn more about this crime and how we can be active participants in the fight against misogyny.”

Co-chair for the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board, Mark Hamblin, wants to raise awareness of the Safe Places scheme which can be a lifeline for many people. He said:

“The Safe Places scheme is important to me because being a self-advocate, I go all over the place and sometimes I go alone. I often get panic attacks and it is comforting to know that I can go into a Safe Place and staff will get in touch with someone who knows me.

“I also know that I can go to a Safe Place venue if I experience a hate crime. If someone is violent, tries to steal from or calls me a horrible name because I have a learning disability, then I know I need to ring the police. I might feel scared or upset so it is good to know I can walk into a safe place and someone will be there to help me make the phone call.

“A lot of people still don’t know about the Safe Places scheme in North Yorkshire.  To find out more and sign up to join the North Yorkshire Safe Places scheme please click on this link on your computer https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/safe-places

North Yorkshire Police Superintendent Mark Khan said:

“Hate crime blights our communities and we are absolutely committed to driving it out.

“We know it is underreported so Hate Crime Awareness Week is a key opportunity to really shine a light on what hate crime is and the different forms it can take, and crucially, how to report it.

“At North Yorkshire Police we treat every report of hate crime very seriously. Our role is to keep our communities safe and we know just how damaging hate crime can be.

“By reporting hate crime you will not only receive support yourself, but you may are also helping support the rest of your community by making sure this behaviour is not tolerated.

“Let’s be clear, hate crime has no home here in North Yorkshire.”

North Yorkshire Police has worked with North Yorkshire County Council, national organisation Keyring and a group of self-advocates to produce an easy-read leaflet on spotting and reporting misogyny. You can download a copy at the North Yorkshire Police website.

To follow Hate Crime Awareness Week 2022 on social media follow the hashtags #HelpNotHateNY #LetsEndMisogyny

Reporting hate crime and where to get support

Is it an emergency? Does it feel like the situation could get violent very soon or is someone in danger right now? If so, call 999.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use our textphone service 18000. You can also text us on 999 if you have already registered with the emergency SMS service.

If it is not an emergency, you can report hate crime by calling 101 or reporting it via the North Yorkshire Police website: https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/ro/report/hate-crime/hc-av1/report-hate-crime/

True Vision is a website where you can report hate crime online and the reports are sent to your local police force. Visit https://www.report-it.org.uk/

If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can contact other organisations for help:

Supporting Victims call 01609 643100 (open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or visit https://www.supportingvictims.org/ for help via the website.

Crimestoppers call anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report via the Crimestoppers website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ any time day or night.

York Racial Equality Network provides independent support for victims of race hate crime. You can talk to them or they can help you contact the police. Call 07704 120722 or email info@yren.co.uk

Tell MAMA is a national project which supports victims of anti-muslim hate. Call 0800 456 1226 or visit https://tellmamauk.org/ for other ways to contact them.

Community Security Trust (CST) is a charity that helps British Jews who are victims of hate crime. Call the national emergency number: 0800 032 3263 or visit: https://cst.org.uk/ for more information.

Galop is a national charity which gives advice and support to LGBT+ people. Call the LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline on 020 7704 2040 or visit: https://galop.org.uk/ for more information.

York Disability Rights Forum wants action to stop hate crime, to increase reporting and to help disabled people access support. You can email: hello@ydrf.org.uk or call 01904 326781 to leave a voicemail.

Safe Places Scheme

A safe place is somewhere you can go if you need help when you’re out in the community.

Sign up to the scheme to get a ‘Keep safe’ card which you carry with you.

Look for the logo in libraries and other buildings when you’re out and about.

Show your Keep Safe card to a member of staff and they will ring your contact.

To join, ring 03307 260260 or email: safeplaces@spsdoorguard.com

 

*Hate Crimes Reported to North Yorkshire Police

31 August 2021 – 31 August 2022

1158 hate crimes reported to North Yorkshire Police. 52 of these were misogyny/misandry.

31 August 2020 – 30 August 2021

1042 hate crimes reported to North Yorkshire Police. 45 of these were misogyny/misandry.