Hate crimes strategy: Hackney Council invites residents to have their say

Caroline Selman

Cllr Caroline Selman is asking residents to take part in the hate crimes consultation

Residents are being asked to take part in a survey on council policies to tackle hate crimes in Hackney, which jumped to nearly 3,600 last year.

The council is holding a public consultation on its draft hate crimes strategy which is available to read on the council website.

Residents have until 23 March to comment on the plans, which include using “CCTV and enforcement officers to support the police in gathering evidence, tackling hate and prosecuting offenders”.

The plans also involve raising awareness to increase reporting of hate crimes, teaching people about extremist beliefs, training council staff, analysing data to identify hate crime “hotspots”, improving support for victims, and working with groups such as Stop Hate UK.

Cllr Caroline Selman, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “Hackney is a brilliant, diverse place, where people from all backgrounds live side by side.

“In Hackney, we reject racism and discrimination, celebrate our many faiths and cultures, and champion those from LGBTQI+ backgrounds and those with disabilities.

“However, we also know the importance of sending the message that Hackney is no place for hate, which is why we’ve developed this hate crime strategy and why it’s so important that people respond to the consultation.”

Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence motivated by hostility or prejudice based on race, disability, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.

There were 3,593 hate crimes in Hackney between April 2016 and April 2017, an increase of 332 compared to the previous year, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The number of these incidents which resulted in punishments, such as cautions, warnings or going to court, dropped slightly from 1,085 to 1,000.

Most incidents were racist or religious hate crimes, with 748 in 2016/17, up from 576 in 2015/17.

The council’s strategy notes that Hackney is a diverse borough, with its 269,000 population including many black, “other white”, Turkish, Kurdish, Muslim and Jewish residents.

To take part in the hate crimes strategy consultation click here or call 020 8356 4342 for a paper copy. The consultation closes on 23 March.