Embracing diversity with a new Hate Crime Strategy

21 Mar 2013 @ 7.38 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

Members are being asked to approve a new Hate Crime Strategy for City of York Council on Tuesday 2 April, to support ongoing work to embrace diversity in the city, help and protect victims and bring offenders to justice.

In January 2008, City of York Council launched its first Hate Crime Strategy which outlined ways in which people can report hate crimes and how the relevant authorities can follow up allegations.

This refresh not only builds on the good work over the period covered by the last strategy, but acknowledges under-reporting of incidents of hate crime which can be against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, older people, those with disabilities, minority ethnic group and can extend to bullying in school.

The new strategy also acknowledges significant organizational changes within the agencies charged with supporting its delivery, the changes in diversity within the city’s communities and also responds to the government’s Prevent agenda which has developed to include community cohesion as a key theme.

Following extensive consultation in the city and across North Yorkshire region involving over 30 statutory and voluntary partners and affected communities, the strategy is planned to be delivered by these bodies and plans to be facilitated, co-ordinated and monitored through the Safer York Partnership.

The council’s Equalities Action Group, Citizens Advice Bureau and CVS, York’s LGBT forum, Mencap and the city’s Older People’s Assembly are amongst the bodies consulted.

Based on this consultation, four strategic preventative aims have been identified. These are:

  • to raise awareness of hate crimes
  • to make it easier for people to report hate crime
  • to improve the support available to victims of hate crime
  • to improve data capture and develop a more accurate reflection of the extent and breakdown of hate crime and incidents.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “Although reported hate crime figures may be low within the city, it still exists and this strategy acknowledges this under-reporting. The proposed strategy takes a holistic approach to addressing hate crime in all its forms to protect vulnerable people, build stronger communities and support the work of the Fairness Commission which are all core priorities of City of York Council.

“It is therefore timely that the strategy has been refreshed and developed from which future multi-agency work can be developed consistently and in collaboration with partners.”

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