TIM DREW: Initiative to help tackle rise in hate crime

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week, a national initiative which aims to raise awareness of and support those affected by hate crime.

The police recorded 110 hate crimes against Muslims from March to July in the UK compared with 47 in 2016, and the Community Security Trust reported a total of 767 anti-Jewish incidents between January and June – a rise of almost a third on the same period in 2016.

Elsewhere, the number of disability hate crimes increased by 101 per cent, from 1,531 in 2014-15 to 3,079 in 2016-17, with crimes against children increasing at an even greater rate.

The organisers of Hate Crime Awareness Week – the No To Hate Crime Campaign and Stop Hate UK – have called on police forces and local authorities to work alongside key partners and communities affected by hate crime to tackle local hate crime issues, and PCC Katy Bourne has responded by making funding available for projects that specifically support vulnerable victims of crime, and particularly hate crime.

For the first time, grants of up to £20,000 will be made available from her Victims’ Services Fund for initiatives which aim to help victims of hate crime, including race, religion, gender identity, sexuality, disability, age, and those that have been persistently targeted.

A new hate crime support service, from 2019 onwards, for people who might not fit the categories that currently exist will be shaped as part of the process, involving the input of more than a dozen different agencies.

• The Worthing Neighbourhood Watch AGM will take place in association with Adur Neighbourhood Watch on Tuesday, October 24, at the Durrington Community Centre at 7pm.

• The Offington Neighbourhood Panel will meet at the Thomas A’Becket PHS in Rectory Road at 10am on Thursday, November 2, while the Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel will meet at the Ardington Hotel, Steyne Gardens, at 6pm the same day.