Leicestershire Cares has started a programme of workshops with its young people to discuss the issues related to hate crime with the help from Leicestershire Police.
The term 'hate crime' can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
These aspects of a person's identity are known as 'protected characteristics'. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator can also be a friend, carer or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose.
In Leicestershire between 2018/19 there were 1632 hate crimes reported, however, many are not reported. The barriers to reporting hate crimes include the normalisation of the attack, which is sees the victim just accepts that receiving the hate crime is 'the way it is'.
The workshop took place via a video conferencing platform due to the COVID-19 Lockdown, was delivered by Hate Crime Officer for Leicestershire Police, Isla Dixon and encouraged young people to share their experiences of being a victim. “I’ve been told by our elders to just ignore it” was one comment from a young person who took part in the session as to a barrier of reporting the crime.
“I didn’t think it was that serious to be classified as a crime”
“I didn’t want to waste police time by reporting it, and what can they do? If it happened on the street and I don’t know who the attacker is what is the point of reporting it?”
The session highlighted some of the third-party reporting mechanisms which offer an alternative to reporting hate crime directly to the police such asStop Hate UK, which were unknown to the young people.
This will be an ongoing conversation with Leicestershire Police over the next few months which will explore the relationship between young people and the police. We hope to work together to broker a better understanding of each other.
For more information about our Voices project contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how we work with care experienced young people.
For advice on dealing with isolation during the COVID-19 lockdown, visit our coronavirus page.