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Issue - meetings

Hate crime strategy - due 12.03.18

Meeting: 21/03/2018 - Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Item 5)

5 Hate crime strategy pdf icon PDF 91 KB

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Neil Thurlow, Community Safety Manager, introduced the report and drew the Commission’s attention to an updated version of the action plan that was laid round at the meeting and will be published alongside the minutes. He highlighted the long lasting impact that hate crime has on victims and the partnership approach that had been taken to developing the hate crime strategy. He stressed that a hate crime would be categorised as such if the victim or another person perceived it to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.


Lyla Adwan-Kamara, Chief Executive of Merton Centre for Independent Living, informed the Commission that a survey carried out by Merton CIL and partners during Hate Crime Week had found that 50% of respondents across all protected characteristics had experienced hate crime. Specifically for disabled people, 98% of hate crime against disabled people went unreported and many of the victims knew their perpetrator. The  main reasons cited in the survey for not reporting were that victims thought it would not make the abuse stop, fear of reprisals and that they wouldn’t be believed.


Lyla Adwan-Kamara added that she hoped that future work would include further training to help service providers and community groups to identify hate crime; also to work with the police to look at reported crimes to identify whether there was a hate crime aspect. Chief Superintendent Laverick, the Borough Commander, said that  he would be interested in looking at a sample of reported crime and anti-social behaviour to see if hate crime aspects were being missed; as well as work on encouraging other public authorities to report hate crime.


In response to a question, Lyla Adwan-Kamara said that the reduction in the number of disability hate crime reports was much more likely to be due to under-reporting rather than a reduction in hate crime rates.


In response to a question about conviction rates for hate crime, PC Rhys Cullinane, said that of 19 reports in January 2018 only one had resulted in charges being brought. He said that most were withdrawn due to lack of evidence or were withdrawn by the victim. He undertook to provide a more detailed analysis as part of the Commission’s next update on the Hate Crime Strategy.


The Commission RESOLVED to continue to support the partnership work on hate crime.