News: Tackling hate crime in Liverpool

A group of Liverpool based social landlords have been working to combat hate crime and to define a consistent approach in their response to incidents. They have recently signed up to a set of standards which is the first step in ensuring consistency in the service provided for victims.

The partnership is made up of 14 social landlords and is supported by local agencies including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Stop Hate UK and Victim Support.

The need for a simplified and improved service for victims of hate crime came from research into race hate crime, originally undertaken by Steve Biko Housing Association.

The launch of the service standards at an event held at Merseyside Maritime Museum, saw key speakers from Victim Support, Citysafe and Merseyside Police give their perspective on hate crime.  Delegates also heard first hand a harrowing story from the victim’s point of view, as well as viewing a film which listed the horrific details of the deaths of fifteen victims of hate crime.

Tracey Gore, director, Steve Biko Housing Association said: “In adopting these service standards for dealing with hate crime, we will deliver the service with a greater consistency,  improve communication between the victims, RSLs and other agencies and deliver improved support for victims with more effective action taken against the perpetrators of hate crime.”

Debbie Jones, team leader, LHT North Neighbourhood Office said: “The delivery of these service standards has been as a result of 18 months joint work for the task group including setting up the framework which will allow the standards to function and be of maximum benefit to victims of hate crime.”

Andy Hall, divisional manager for Merseyside & Cheshire Victim Support added: “There is still much work to be done in developing the infrastructure to tackle hate crime in our society.  We are grateful to all the RSLs and partner organisations involved in making this happen and expect to see the benefits for our service users.”

The standards state that service providers will, as a minimum:

  • Accept the nationally recognised hate crime strands
  • Believe the client’s complaint
  • Provide a victim centred approach
  • Ensure a risk assessment is completed with the client
  • Arrange for interpreters and translations if required, when English is not the first language
  • Arrange for other communication needs to be met such as British Sign Language or Braille
  • Make the client aware of all available options which include:
    • Target hardening measures to improve reassurance or security
    • Referral to support agencies including victim support and police
    • Taking action against the perpetrator
    • Temporary or permanent re housing in exceptional circumstances
    • Temporary removal and storage of belongings in exceptional circumstances
  • Consider the wishes and needs of the client before taking any action on a client’s behalf
  • Encourage the client to co-operate with support agencies and in taking action against perpetrators
  • Agree an action plan with the client
  • Support the use of legal powers to take action against the perpetrators
  • Work with other organisations to monitor incidents, identify hotspots, provide support and resolve complaints
  • Work with other agencies to promote awareness of hate crime in the community
  • Work to promote good relations and community cohesion between all sections of the community

The Liverpool RSL task group for combating hate crime is made up of the following members:

This article is reproduced courtesy of 24Dash.com.

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