Together We Can Tackle Hate Crime in Cumbria
AWAZ Cumbria together with OutREACH Cumbria,Cumbria Disability Network and criminal justice system agencies (Cumbria Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service) delivered four Tackling Hate Crime awareness workshops for front line staff, volunteers, managers and community representatives across Cumbria during September – October 2014.
We received a huge amount of interest from people wishing to attend the Tackling Hate Crime Workshops-staff and volunteers representing a diverse range of public sector organisations within the voluntary and community sector. So much so, that one of the workshops very quickly became oversubscribed, and we had to place people on a waiting list.
In total, including guest speakers and trainers, 131 people attended 4 workshops across the county.
The aim of the workshops was to help those involved with or supporting the people affected by Hate Crime in Cumbria;
- To have broader knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the root causes of hate crime;
- To have a better awareness of what constitutes a hate crime;
- To understand how it can impact upon victims and the wider community
- How best they can then provide a more effective service to the victims and the people affected by hate crime.
The guest speaker for the Workington workshop was Laura Geraghty, director of the Independent Hate Crime Hub. Laura used the ‘pyramid of hate’ to describe the way in which hate crime can escalate from lower level incidents, through to assaults and ultimately genocide.
Penrith workshop’s guest speaker was Sylvia Lancaster, who spoke of her daughter Sophie, who was murdered in 2007.
Sylvia spoke poignantly of her memories of Sophie and how, through the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a lasting legacy to Sophie, Sylvia and her colleagues campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include the targeting of people of alternative subcultures. Sylvia also described the impact and benefits of the educational sessions run by the Foundation to challenge prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.
Our guest speaker at the Ulverston workshop was Dr Martin Baines, QPM, Chair of the Bradford Hate Crime Alliance. Martin spoke about best practice in third party hate crime reporting centres and how tackling hate crime should be very much a whole community effort.
Daniel Silver, Director of the Social Action Research Foundation joined us in Carlisle. Daniel spoke of the Foundation’s research examining local level approaches to engaging with, and addressing the needs of marginalised majority populations.
Also speaking at the workshops were: Richard Rhodes, Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Kavanagh of OutReach Cumbria, Mark Tenant of Cumbria Disability Network, Mohammed Dhalech and Peter Foley MBE Chair AWAZ Cumbria, Sandra Wiggin of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, PC Julie Dodd, DS George Atkinson, DS Jim Skeer, and DS Andy Lamb of Cumbria Constabulary and Martin Hill of the Crown Prosecution Service.
All the four workshops were facilitated by Aftab Khan, Development Officer AWAZ Cumbria.
Following on from the workshops we produced a report titled: "Together We Can Tackle Hate Crime: AWAZ Cumbria Workshops Report 2014" you can download the full report by clicking here.
The key recommendations from this report are;
1- Prevention – Challenging attitudes and early interventions by;
1.1 Promotion and publicity of “Say no to hate crime” through campaigning across Cumbria using local print, electronic and social media e.g. free press, Town/Parish Council newsletters, and through digital patient information boards in hospitals/ GP/Dental surgeries waiting area and organisation’s intranet, staff newsletters and social media networks.
1.2 Organising events during “Hate Crime Awareness Week 12-18 October” every year.
1.3 Engaging social housing providers (e.g. housing associations, sheltered accommodation, and emergency homelessness support) in raising the awareness of their tenants, service users and staff about how to report and tackle hate crime.
1.4 Liaising with licensed premises (e.g. pubs/clubs) and public transport to publicise and promote the tackling of Hate Crime campaign through the provision of information flyers, leaflets, posters and other publicity materials.
1.5 Deliver tackling Hate Crime training and raise awareness within schools, further education colleges/training providers and community centres.
2- Building Victim’s confidence and improving the response to hate crime by;
2.1 Empowering Victim’s voices to inform and influence the community safety agenda and supporting the involvement of the people affected by Hate Crime in the design, development and commissioning of local victim support services and how they are scrutinised.
2.2 Providing advice and appropriate information about access to victim support services and for making informed choices to increase confidence and trust in the criminal justice system.
2.3 Raising awareness on how to recognise and report Hate Crime in accessible formats and community languages to help people to overcome their communication barriers in reporting hate incidents because they lack English language communication skills or information about Hate Incident Reporting Centres.
2.4 Providing easy to read and understand guidance for front line staff in all sectors on how to record hate incident reports and support or signpost people affected by Hate Crime.
2.5 Looking at different ways based on individual’s needs to enable people to report Hate Crime and receive support e.g. via text, telephone, online or support networks.
2.6 Providing a quarterly newsletter and regular updates on tackling Hate Crime, and where to get help.
3- Tackling root causes of hate crime and reducing reoffending by;
3.1 Delivering tackling Hate Crime training and raise awareness among prison staff and inmates about tackling Hate Crime.
3.2 Delivering a rolling thinking skills programme, awareness sessions and rehabilitation training for Hate Crime offenders and for those who receive community orders or cautions to help the perpetrators in moving on from re-offending behaviours.
4- Partnership working – supporting people affected by Hate Crime
4.1 Criminal justice system agencies, local authorities and third sector organisations need to listen, value, invest and work in partnership to tackle Hate Crime, support people affected by Hate Crime and reduce reoffending.
4.2 Annual workshop/conference on Hate Crime to share information, knowledge and practice (one each in North, West and South Cumbria).
AWAZ Cumbria is leading on tackling hate crime campaign in partnerhsip with a range of organisations across Cumbria and can provide tailor-made training for your organisation on a wide variety of Equality and Diversity topics and tackling hate crime. Contact us for more details.
You can also access some of the presentations from the workshops by clicking on the links below.