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.
The presupposition that certain crimes derive from hate rather than the traditional human motivations of greed self-benefit or malice and that “hate” can be defined and is more culpable is misleading and erroneous. Hopefully, by continually broadening and extending the recognised categories of “hate” the distinction will cease to exist and the law can begin to return to sanity.
Fair point, but I guess they’re got to give it some kind of convenient label.
May we expect the police in England and Wales to start displaying hate posters like those that are displayed in Scotland, bearing the Police Scotland logo, many people have been reporting to Police Scotland, as hate crimes or hate incidents?
May we expect the police south of the border to follow the example of Police Scotland, by refusing to include reports of their own hate posters in their statistics?
Police Scotland’s hate crime
Police Scotland’s bid to wriggle out of hate crime bust
Police Scotland’s decision not to record reports of its own hate incidents
It strikes me that Sarah Thornton spoke up today not a moment too soon.
A simple answer would be to send an FoI request to each Chief Constable in England and Wales and ask them.
The FOIA relates to facts. Does that include policy ideas mooted, but not even yet in the pipeline? Have you seen the Scots poster so many are reporting as a hate crime or incident against religious people? The one that reads,
you can’t spread your religious hate here. End of sermon.
Hate crime. Report it to stop it.
I don’t think the chief constables will predict the future, in response to FOIA requests as to whether we can expect this treatment in their counties.
No idea – but you never know your luck.
A presenter on Sky News speaking about the £50 profile debate has just described Margaret Thatcher as a “figure of hate” for some but surely such language is impermissible?
But you can’t defame a dead person.
Edward Heath I hear you say…….?