A hate crime campaign encouraging victims to report their experiences to the police and other partners has led to a 25% increase in reports, it has been revealed.
The positive results of the Step Up Beat Hate project were unveiled by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa yesterday (13 September) as he opened a special walk in support of the campaign at Markeaton Park in Derby.
The event, which saw participants complete a 1.4 mile circular walk, drew dozens of campaigners including the PCC, Derbyshire Constabulary staff, Derbyshire Victims Services, community groups and County and City Council workers to promote a powerful anti-hate message.
Derbyshire was recently chosen by the Home Office to pilot an innovative campaign to increase access to restorative justice (RJ) for victims of hate crime in the county. Restorative justice brings those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for it into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the damage and find a positive way forward.
The work, which was partially funded through the Home Office’s Hate Crime Community Project Fund and resulted in the launch of the branded campaign Step Up to Hate Crime, saw restorative justice provider Remedi and the Restorative Justice (RJ) Council develop new referral routes for victims to increase the number of those taking up RJ services.
It also involved a promotional campaign targeting past and potential victims of hate crime, the analysis of police crime data to proactively target past victims to offer RJ, and the training of frontline staff likely to come into contact with victims.
The four-month campaign, which ran from February 1 to May 31, resulted in a series of successes which include:
A 24% increase in the number of hate crimes reported (391 hate crime reports were made to police and 46 contacts to Stop Hate UK compared to 318 reports and 35 contacts in the four months before the campaign)
A 91% increase in hate crime referrals to Derbyshire Victims Services (65 referrals recorded compared to 34 in the four months prior to the campaign)
An increase in victims referred for RJ intervention (21 victims referred for RJ during the four-month campaign while a further 10 referrals were received by a partner agency)
Commenting on the success, Mr Dhindsa said: “I’m delighted to support the Step Up Beat Hate walk and report the fantastic results we’ve achieved throughout the lifetime of this pioneering project. Long may it continue.
“As well as encouraging more victims to break their silence and report their experiences to the police or specialist support organisation, I’m particularly pleased to see such a big increase in the number of people who self-referred themselves for support which proves our awareness campaign is really working.
“The walk today is symbolic of the passion and commitment that exists in Derbyshire to eradicate hate, prejudice and intolerance from our county and promote the values of respect, acceptance and peace. We are all working towards one goal and that is to live in harmony as a single united community.
“It’s clear this project has made great inroads into increasing participation in RJ, building confidence among victims of hate crime so they take action against perpetrators and raising awareness of the services out there to help people recover from this heinous problem within our society.
“However, this work is just the tip of the iceberg and we must now focus our attention on how we can build on these successful foundations and increase reports and referrals in the future.”
During the lifetime of the project, 13 victims of hate crime self-referred themselves for support compared to four in the four months prior to the campaign. Many of these victims had seen the campaign adverts on the side of buses or publicity material at public events.
A host of events and activities were held in support of the project including workshops delivered in prisons, refugee centres, schools and leisure centres, the development of a film promoting RJ specifically for hate crime victims, the creation of publicity material including posters and leaflets and training seminars for police officers, PCSOs, local authority staff and representatives from local housing providers.
The messages of the campaign will continue to be promoted by Remedi and partners in the months ahead in an effort to build on the momentum of the project.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 14th September 2017