The Government, in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime and other organisations, has launched new national hate crime awareness campaign, with the aim of to helping the public understand hate crime, particularly offences which people often do not recognise as criminal, such as some forms of online and verbal abuse. The strapline of the campaign is:
“If you target anyone with verbal, online or physical abuse because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity – you may be committing a hate crime. It’s not just offensive. It’s an offence.”
The campaign, which goes live today, 31 October, includes adverts running on video-on-demand sites, social media and posters to be displayed across the country. Each video or poster features a different offender, represented by an e-fit, and a hate crime taking place:
- a lesbian couple being verbally abused at a bar;
- racist graffiti being sprayed on the shop of a foreign couple;
- an offender posting hate-filled messages about a transgender woman online;
- a Muslim woman being aggressively shouted at to remove her headscarf and a Jewish man being abused in the street; and
- a disabled man being verbally abused on a bus.
Along with the CPS, the Home Office consulted with the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, which includes groups such as Stop Hate UK, Tell MAMA, Community Security Trust (CST), Stonewall and Galop.
The campaign forms part of the Government’s wider programme of work to tackle hate crime. Earlier this month the Government updated its hate crime action plan for England and Wales, which included:
- asking the Law Commission to review hate crime legislation;
- further funding for community groups to tackle hate crime; and
- extending the Places of Worship Security Scheme for a fourth year.