Community organisations, practitioners and partners joined together this week (14 October) to help tackle hate crime in Coventry.
The event was held as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week and aimed to raise awareness of the associated harms of hate crime, share good practice between agencies and provide groups with an overview of the current issues surrounding Hate Crime.
It also provided an opportunity for attendees to better understand how to support victims of Hate Crime through bystander intervention and effective networks.
Hate Crime recording increased by 10% last year across the West Midlands. In Coventry, there was a 3% increase in reporting – many professionals believe that the crime is often under-reported and therefore the incidence of Hate Crime is believed to be much higher than the figures show.
Cllr Pervez Akhtar, Deputy Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, also opened the event and said:
“Hate Crime has a disproportionate impact on its victims compared to other crimes, and it massively reduces community cohesion.
“We are witnessing a worrying rise in intolerance, so as part of National Hate Crime Awareness week, I like to take an opportunity to promote the clear reporting of all Hate Crime. This means that we can effectively tackle it, and ensure that everyone in our city feels safe no matter who they are.
65 people representing local communities and organisations attended Monday’s conference which featured speeches from Councillor Pervez Akhtar, Superintendent Philip Healey from Coventry Police and Nigel Bromage, founder of Small Steps.
Nigel shared his story of being recruited by far-right groups when he was younger and the impact that had on him. He gave on insight into the recruitment process and how to spot signs of far-right activity within the city, including schools.
Nigel is also part of a team advising the producers of Hollyoaks around a current storyline featuring a character involved in far-right activity.
Mohammed Bashir, Community Co-Ordinator, added: “I encourage reporting of all Hate Crime. You can do this at any time by searching for Truevision on Google and complete an online-reporting form or use another online source.”
For more information about the event or how Hate Crime is being tackled in the city, email Mohammed Bashir.