New race equality report reveals ‘hard truths’ over Greenwich violence

Racist hate crime in Greenwich has risen 64 per cent in three years, and use of force by police disproportionately targets black people, a new report has revealed.

The Greenwich Race Equality Scorecard has examined the experiences of local residents across the borough and found “striking differences” between the lives of BME residents and their white counterparts.

Racist hate crime has risen in the borough by 64 per cent between December 2014 and February 2017, 14 per cent more than the average for London.

Black people made up 33 per cent of ‘use of force’ police cases, despite making up just 19 per cent of the borough’s population.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of Greenwich Council, said: “This report brings to light some of the hard truths of the structural barriers, prejudice and discrimination that our ethnic minority communities face every day.

“As a society, we need to act together to tackle this inequality.”

The Race Equality Scorecard also revealed that whilst BME residents outperform their white counterparts in school, they are more likely to be unemployed after leaving school.

The report was launched by a partnership of Greenwich Council, think tank the Runnymede Trust and the Greenwich Inclusion Project (GrIP), and points to long-standing prejudice and discrimination as a driving factor.

Cllr Thorpe said he was hopeful that the future partnership board on race equality would bring together a range of people and organisations across the borough to “develop solutions to these complex challenges.”

He commented: “This highlights that we are not always getting it right for the people in our black communities, and that can be a hard thing to say and a harder thing to hear, but that honesty is important.

“We are committed to making this scorecard a living document driving concrete action and dialogue with BME communities, so that we do the right thing and address these long-standing inequalities.”

Detective Sergeant Anthony Forsyth from the Met Police Service commented: “We have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and the hidden nature of this crime.

“The Met stands together with policing partners, colleagues and groups to investigate all hate crime allegations, support victims and their families, and bring perpetrators to justice. No one should suffer in silence.”

Forsyth said the Met has seen a steady increase in the reporting of all hate crime, particularly racist and religious hate crime.

Part of the reason for the rise is seen as an increased willingness of victims to report crime and improved awareness by police, but the Detective Sergeant also urged more victims of hate crime to come forward to police.

First published 07.11.19:

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