Current responses to hate crime in the UK are failing and letting down victims, says report

New research by University of Leicester experts highlights the barriers that victims face in accessing justice and identifies ways of overcoming them  

 

Hate crime victims throughout the United Kingdom are being let down by the Government and criminal justice agencies, according to a new report undertaken by University of Leicester experts in collaboration with Amnesty International UK.

 

Through a series of case studies the report, which is based on research by experts from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, illustrates significant levels of under-reporting, inadequate support provision for victims, insufficient training for police officers and low investment in educational and rehabilitative interventions.

Ways in which the state is failing in its duty to prevent and tackle hate crimes include:

  • failure to increase public awareness of hate crimes across all sections of society
  • failure to embed diversity-related themes within the curriculum
  • failure to support victims of online hate
  • failure to make public transport safe
  • failure to provide parity in legislative protection
  • failure to maintain a responsible tone around issues of immigration and ‘difference’

Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Lead Researcher from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, said: “Recent spikes in hate crime which have followed the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London show that existing responses to hate crime are not working.

“Research shows that the impact of hate crime can be devastating for victims, spreading fear amongst communities and so the Government must do more to address the problems raised in this report.”

The report puts forwards a number of recommendations, including more effective awareness-raising campaigns, increased prioritisation of community engagement, better training for frontline practitioners, and greater investment in victim support and preventative programmes.

Professor Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester, said: “In the context of escalating tensions and rising levels of prejudice we all need responses to hate crime to be swift, supportive and effective. All too often victims are let down by responses which do not address their needs, experiences or expectations, and as such the recommendations within this report are both timely and instructive.”

Alex Phillimore

 

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