Action Against Hate, the UK Government’s new plan for tackling hate crime, not an effective strategy to reduce race hate crime

Posted on Thu 28 Jul 2016

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PRESS RELEASE

Members of the Coalition of Racial Equality Organisations (CORE) welcome the Home Office’s announcement that Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will be asked to assess the way police respond to all forms of hate crime. However, members of CORE are concerned that the Government’s new four year hate crime action plan (Action Against Hate) contains serious flaws because there has been inadequate consultation.

Members of CORE call on the Home Secretary and the Home Office to enter into discussions with CORE, Racial Equality Councils, those tackling race and /or religious hatred, national faith bodies, the Criminal Justice family, the Local Government Association, Community Safety Partnerships and others to ensure that the new plan is developed into an effective, properly funded national strategy to combat race and religious hate crime and foster good community relations.

Action against Hate: key flaws, omissions and what is needed

  • The strategy must recognise that Britain’s long established black and minority ethnic communities as well as newer migrants from the EU and elsewhere have faced rising race hate crime.
  • The new plan, like the previous plan, fails to effectively recognise or address rising race hate crime, the root causes and the relationship between racially and religiously motivated hate crimes (see note 3).
  • The new strategy must address the recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (see note 4).
  • The plan must be developed in a strategy informed by an analysis of: the causes of rising race and religious hate crime; how the Public Sector Equality Duty can be used to reduce such hate crime and; what forms of intervention reduce the incidence of race and religious hate crime.
  • The new strategy must ensure that data on the ethnicity of perpetrators and victims of    race hate crime are published by the CPS, police forces and the Home Office. In addition, consideration must be given on how to record nationality to tackle race hate crime directed towards EU or other migrants (see note 5).
  • Police referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for charging in relation to racially and religiously aggravated crime fell in 2014/15 and 2015/16 whilst reported race hate crimes have increased year-on-year for the last three years. Moreover, the number of prosecutions has not increased to keep pace with this rise in reported race hate crimes (see note 6).
  • We need a strategic framework that provides effective guidance to Police and Crime Commissioners, the Mayor of London and police forces so that progress can be measured with respect to referrals to the CPS.

ENDS      

Notes to editors:

  1. According to press reports, the study will ‘look at how police forces around the country understand and deal with hate crime reports’. Home Office unveils new measure to fight hate crime. Caroline Mortimer, the Independent. 26 July 2016.
  2. Action against Hate, was published on 26 July 2016. The four year plan is due to run from 2016 until 2020. Actions are set out in relation to five areas: 1) preventing hate crime by challenging the beliefs and attitudes that can underlie such crimes; 2) responding to hate crime; 3) increasing the reporting of hate crime; 4) improving support for victims of hate crime; 5) building our understanding of hate crimes and improving  the data. The Plan also commits the Government to ‘working in partnership with communities’ and ‘joining up work across a hate crime strands to ensure that best practice in tackling hate crime is understood and drawn upon in all’ its work.
  3. The EHRC has called for the Government to: undertake a ‘full-scale review of Britain’s hate crime laws and strategies; carry out a full-scale review of the operation and effectiveness of the sentencing for hate crimes in England and Wales, including the ability to increase sentencing for crimes motivated by hate; provide stronger evidence to prove their hate crime strategies are working; work with criminal justice agencies to understand what drives perpetrators to commit hate crime and to use that evidence to develop new preventative measures.
  4. For an assessment of the deficiencies of the Government’s previous Hate Action Plan, see Calling for a national strategy to address rising race and religious hate crime in England and Wales, A report for the Race Equality Foundation by Dr Leander Neckles: July 2016.
  5. The latest Hate Crime Report, 2014/15 and 2015/16 was published by the CPS in July 2016. For the sixth year in a row it contains no information on the ethnicity of victims of race hate crime. Similarly, the last hate crime report published by the Home Office, Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2014/15, published in October 2015, does not obtain a clear analysis of the ethnicity of the victims of hate crime. Whilst we recognise the challenges associated with gathering data on ethnicity is essential that that we understand what steps are being taken to ensure that such data is gathered and analysed routinely.
  6. The Race Equality Foundation’s recent report on reported race and religious hate crime identifies that race hate crime has been rising year on year since 2012/13. Reported race hate crimes: 2012/13, 35,845; 2013/14, 37,466; 2014/15, 42,930. Source: Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2014/2015. Home Office statistical bulletin 05/15, Home Office 13 October 2015. The police made the following number of referrals to the CPS for racially and religiously aggravated offences – 12,184 (2013/14), 12,071 (2014/15) and 10,728 (2015/16), see the Hate Crime Reports produced by the CPS for 2013/14 and 2014/15 and 2015/16.
  7. CORE brings together many of the UK's leading black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations for the promotion of race equality. The coalition members who are signatory to this press release are:

 

  • Black South West Network (BSWN)
  • BME National
  • Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG)
  • Croydon BME Forum
  • JUST West Yorkshire
  • Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN)
  • Operation Black Vote (OBV)
  • Race Equality Foundation
  • Voice4Change England
  • Runnymede Trust
  • Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

For further information please contact Beverly Sharma at 020 7428 1889, via the office switchboard 020 7428 1880, or e-mail to beverlys@racefound.org.uk

This press release is issued by the Race Equality Foundation on behalf of members of CORE.