New project makes it easier to report hate crime
- Credit: Archant
A new project aims to increase the reporting of hate crime in the borough and provide better support to victims.
As part of the Safe Newham scheme, 12 community-based reporting sites will be launched whilst frontline council staff and community leaders will be given training to better understand hate crime and why it is important to report incidents.
The council says there is often a reluctance to report hate crime for various reasons, including language barriers, cultural obstacles, and distrust towards local authorities.
Cabinet member for crime and community safety James Beckles said: "Nobody should have to endure hate crimes in this day and age, and giving victims the support to report these crimes is an important step in reducing them.
"This administration wants to encourage closer bonds between the residents of Newham.
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"In a borough as diverse as ours, integration is essential and our social integration strategy will help balance important but detached cultural networks with wider engagement.
"The Safe Newham project is an important step to combat hate crime and encourage cohesive communities within the borough."
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The council is taking part in the scheme after receiving a government grant to help tackle the issue.
The project will be delivered by charity Protection Approaches with the support of the council's community neighbourhoods team.
Nationally-accredited hate crime training will be issued to 40 frontline council staff, 40 society and faith leaders, and 20 youth champions.
The 12 community-based, third-party reporting sites will allow victims to report hate crime to trained members of staff as an alternative to going to the police.
The sites will be located at four libraries, two youth centres, three community centres and three faith organisations across the borough.
Each reporting site will also host community workshops, which will raise awareness of the sites, increase understanding of hate crime, and allow residents to have their say.
Hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of their disability, gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and beliefs, immigration status or nationality, or any other perceived difference.