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Islington is ‘no place for hate’ as strategy to tackle hate crime is launched

Islington Council is taking a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime of all kinds as it launches a new, joined-up strategy with the police, fire brigade and community organisations to tackle offending and reinforce the message that there is “No Place For Hate” here.

On Monday, the council, police, fire brigade and community groups belonging to the Safer Islington Partnership launch a four-year strategy emphasising that all reports of hate crime will be taken seriously by the authorities and investigated by the police, with offenders brought to justice wherever possible.

The strategy also outlines how the council and partners will lead the way in encouraging the community to report incidents of hate crime, reminding them of the many different forms it can take, including people being targeted, abused or attacked based on their actual or perceived race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, faith or religion.

The strategy has been developed against the backdrop of a rise in reports of hate crime in the borough and nationally this summer in the wake of the EU referendum.

By 2020, Islington hopes to have turned the tide on hate crime, with the community demonstrating increased confidence in the local police, council and partners; increased reporting of hate crime when it occurs; improved victim support; and more  crimes being satisfactorily resolved, including charges being brought against the offenders.

The strategy charts a route towards these goals, which will require the co-operation of the council, police and the wider community, including the independent Islington Hate Crime Forum, made up of representatives of communities affected by hate crime and community organisations working to tackle it.

It is widely considered that hate crime is seriously under-reported across London. By raising awareness of what hate crime is, reinforcing the message that victims should not tolerate it and demonstrating that the police and partners take it seriously, we hope to see the number of reports rise to reflect the true scale of the problem.

As hate crime can be traumatising, it is hoped that victims will also become more willing to report such crimes once they see that they will get a timely response and appropriate support – another key aspect of the strategy. This, in turn, will help the police, council and partners identify trends and hotspots for these crimes to target future work.

Cllr Andy Hull, executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said: “With this new strategy, we are saying that hate crime is something the council, the police and our partners will not stand for.

“‘No Place For Hate’ sums up our stance on this invidious type of crime, which undermines our society. With this strategy in place, we can move forward as a partnership with a clear vision of how we will tackle this divisive crime.

The strategy sets out what we are doing in partnership with the police and community groups to tackle hatred head-on. A big part of that has to be identifying the perpetrators of hate crime, tracking them down and bringing them to justice.

“The publication of our new strategy also provides a great opportunity to celebrate the thriving community spirit and sense of unity that the vast majority of residents feel across Islington with a new artist’s commission during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.”

Islington Police borough commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Catherine Roper, said: “Islington Police are proud to be part of this strategy, which makes it clear that hate crime will not be tolerated in our borough.

“I encourage public support for this strategy – and ask our communities to help us by reporting any such activity.

“I will guarantee that my officers will support victims, whilst dealing robustly with any perpetrators. We have a reactive and proactive team of specially trained officers who are dedicated to dealing with all aspects of hate crime, and with our partners, we will send home the message that this type of criminality is not acceptable.”

The strategy’s launch coincides with a series of events taking place in Islington to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which starts on Saturday (8 October) and is preceded by a reception hosted by the Mayor of Islington for voluntary and community groups affected by, or dealing with, hate crime.

A series of pop-up stalls promoting hate crime awareness, organised with the independent Hate Crime Forum and staffed by Islington Council and police officers, will also appear at key points across the borough over the week. Further awareness-raising will take place via social media, residents’ newsletters and bus shelter posters.

To ensure the positives of life in Islington are not overshadowed, Islington Council has also commissioned artist Carl Stevenson to create an artwork in collaboration with residents and community groups that will evolve throughout the week and explores the theme ‘Islington – Love Not Hate’. The resulting work will be exhibited at the Town Hall.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week also marks a year since the launch of the community-led Islington Hate Crime Forum. Its chair, Colin Adams, said: “Everyone in Islington, irrespective of background, has the right to be respected and valued and should be able to live, work or visit here without the fear of being attacked in any way simply because they are perceived as ‘different’ by a small minority.

“The fact that there has been a steady increase in this type of crime worries Forum members deeply. We really hope the launch of the strategy, in partnership with Islington Council and the police, will raise awareness of the increase in this evil crime, which has a devastating effect on the victim and their communities.

“I also hope that the strategy will increase your confidence to report any incidents that you experience or witness, so we can get a true picture of how wide-scale this type of crime is.”

For more information contact:

Stephen Moore
Senior Media Officer
020 7527 3224