LGA Lib Dems: Condemning hate crimes

Below is a  sample letter from Lib Dem Cllr Lisa Brett who is our lead member on the LGA Safer and Stronger Communities Board in response to the recent rise in reported hate crimes since the referendum.

Dear XXX

Thank you for your email regarding the recent alarming rise of racist and xenophobic incidents and hate crimes. On behalf of the Liberal Democrat Council Group I would be pleased to publicly condemned any such attacks unequivocally. Hate crime can not and will not be tolerated in our communities. Everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of abuse or attack on the basis of who they are.

All crime is wrong, but it is my belief that crime motivated by hate is particularly corrosive. Hate crimes don’t just damage the victims and their families, they strike at the heart of our communities – breaking them down, making people look at one another with suspicion and mistrust.

Our Council, the Police, local Housing Associations and voluntary sector organisations have worked together in recent years to try and break down the barriers and encourage more victims of hate crime to report it, so that we can target local areas and work more effectively to better protect victims.

But in the long-term, the solution lies in stopping hate crimes happening in the first place – by challenging and changing the attitudes and behaviours that lead to hatred, and intervening early to stop tensions or incidents escalating.

How you can help – Challenge it, Report it, and Stop it.

Challenge the attitudes that foster hate. A lack of understanding, reinforcement of negative stereotypes and fear of the unknown can all contribute to prejudice. Children and young people in particular learn their behaviours and form their views from their peers and the adults around them. In that context, we need to stand up and challenge

By questioning racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic jokes and comments we can send a clear message that we do not tolerate such views or behaviour before they have a chance to take root and turn abusive. By staying silent we not only risk being seen to condone such views, we also risk leaving those who are victims isolated.

Take opportunities to celebrate diversity and to highlight the positive contribution that everyone can make to our society. Organise community events that promote integration, introducing different community groups to one another.

Support campaigns to encourage the reporting of hate crimes. Hate crime continues to be under-reported, campaigns aimed at increased reporting will help achieve two important objectives:

– Increased reporting provides a better picture of where the problems are and enables the authorities to provided targeted interventions to help prevent future incidents, as well as better protection and victim support.

– A campaign will remind potential perpetrators that hate crimes are still against the law and that they are treated very seriously.

You can download and print posters to put up in your local area here –

http://report-it.org.uk/files/moj_hate_crime_poster.pdf

http://report-it.org.uk/files/true_vision_-_a4_posters_-_race.pdf

More information and materials about campaigning against hate crimes are available on line.

To find out more about how to report a hate crime please click on

https://www.gov.uk/report-hate-crime

Once again, thank you for your email, and for your assistance in tackling this distressing and corrosive crime.

Yours truly,

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