City councillors will be asked on Monday to formally approve a new plan to tackle hate crime in Nottingham.
The Hate Crime Strategy, announced in October last year, has been written with partners from across the city, including Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, The Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham City Hate Crime Voluntary Sector Network and local community leaders.
The Partnership aims to take an integrated approach to preventing and tackling all forms of intolerance and hate, bringing together policing, the justice system, voluntary sector, communities and other statutory services.
The approach will engage all stakeholders who may come into contact with ‘prejudice’ including young people, offenders, communities, bystanders, organisations and service providers, equipping them to be active agents against hate crime.
The strategy, which will go before Full Council on Monday afternoon, aims to:
- Prevent hate crime by dealing with the beliefs and attitudes that can lead to hate crime
- Respond to hate crime in our communities with the aim of reducing the number of hate crimes and incidents
- Increase the reporting of hate crime
- Improve support for the victims of hate crime
- Build our understanding of hate crime.
Nottinghamshire Police defines a hate crime as ‘any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate’.
Nottinghamshire Police recognised and monitor the below strands of hate crime:
- Sexual orientation
- Misogyny (incidents targeted at women because they’re women)
- Alternative sub-cultures (e.g. goth or emo sub-culture)
Nationally, the number of police recorded hate crime increased year-on-year from 2014/15 to 2018/19. Between these two years hate crime increased by 97% (50,851 more crimes). Nottingham saw a similar picture, with year-on-year increases in hate crime between 2014/15 and 2018/19 rising 87% (412 more crimes) between those two years.
Between January 2020 and August 2020, a total of 1,614 hate crimes were reported in Nottinghamshire, compared with 1,592 hate crimes reported between January 2019 and August 2019.
Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “As a city we will not allow prejudice and hate in any form and we are committed to tackling the issue locally. Our approach is centred on reinforcing and celebrating the city’s values of ‘Nottingham Together’ and ‘More in Common’ while at the same time taking a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime when it does happen.
“This new strategy will help us to understand more about these crimes, to also tackle the issues in our local community’s and hopefully make victims feel supported and heard.”
Emma Foody, Nottinghamshire’s Deputy PCC, said: “Nobody should live in fear of being abused or attacked because of who they are. It is our human right to feel safe and to live without judgement. Together, we are determined to drive out the warped narrative that underpins acts of hatred in Nottingham and give a voice to the underrepresented to help us better understand their experiences.
“Every incident of hate is a slur on humanity and damages the foundations of tolerance, acceptance and respect we are working hard to build across our communities. The new strategy not only aims to build trust among victims to report hate crime and enhance the support available for those who do come forward, it also seeks to dismantle the deeply-entrenched thought processes that fuel some to lash out in hatred, bringing misery and fear to our neighbourhoods.”
Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “We are proud to support this strategy alongside our partners. Hate crime is not acceptable. We all, as members of society, should do what we can to prevent it – don’t be a bystander.
“If you have been a victim of hate crime, have witnessed a hate crime or need any information on what a hate crime is, please do not hesitate to contact the Police either directly or via one of our trusted partners.”
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said: “It is important we support this strategy and work alongside all our partners to tackle hate crime. At Nottingham City Homes, we work closely with our residents and together we will spread the message that hate will not be tolerated in our neighbourhoods. Everyone has the right to feel safe where they live”
Michael Henry, on behalf of the Hate Crime Voluntary Sector Network, said: “Communities Inc are pleased to work with Nottingham City Council, other agencies and the voluntary Sector to reduce hate crime in our city. By working together, we are making a real difference.”