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Pioneering new service supports hate crime victims

Hate Crime Advocacy Logos

Image: Hate Crime Advocacy Service - organisation logos

VICTIMS of hate crime will have unique access to a ground-breaking service launching this year.

The first of its kind in the country, the new Hate Crime Advocacy Service will support victims that experience crimes motivated by prejudice.

The service, put in place by Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, is made up of a trio of organisations that will provide advocacy support across County Durham and Darlington.

It will support victims to ensure their rights are safeguarded and they are empowered to make informed choices and decisions about their recovery.

Ron said: “A crime that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards the victim is particularly destructive and can have devastating consequences for that victim, those closest to them and the wider community.

“This is a unique service, whereby three different organisations are collaborating as one, to meet the specific needs of victims affected by the different strands of hate crime.”

Show Racism the Red Card, Darlington Association on Disability and Gay Advice Darlington and Durham will work together to support anyone suffering from hate crime, or possible hate crime, right throughout the criminal justice process. This includes harassment and bullying, as well as financial, physical or other forms of abuse or criminal activity.

Lauren Robinson Chief Executive Officer at Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) said: “We have been working to raise the issues that affect victims of disability hate crime and crimes against vulnerable people for several years. We are very pleased that the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, has recognised that disabled people need additional support as victims of hate crime.

“This new project will help disabled people recognise when they have been a victim of hate crime and feel confident in reporting it. They will be able to access Advocacy Support throughout the Criminal Justice System.

“DAD is looking forward to working in this unique partnership with GADD and Show Racism the Red Card on this ground breaking project.”

Emma Roebuck, Chief Executive Officer at Gay Advice Darlington and Durham commented that GADD is proud to be part of this innovative new project. She said: “By working as partners with Ron, Show Racism the Red Card and Darlington Association on Disability, we can work together with communities and build positive outcomes for those who feel lost or ignored by the criminal justice system.

“All strands of hate crime will be brought under the umbrella of one partnership, and advocates will work together for the first time on all the key components of hate and bigotry. It will be a mechanism to create cohesive communities in County Durham & Darlington.”

Laura Pidcock, North East Education Team Manager at Show Racism the Red Card said: “Show Racism the Red Card is acutely aware that in some places there exists a hostile environment for Black, Asian and other Minority communities.

“The climate post-Brexit has brought to the surface anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-Muslim prejudice and other discriminatory behaviours, meaning that the profile of hate crime has risen. Worryingly we know that hate crime is vastly under-reported. There are many pressures on those who are targeted, and they may fear things getting worse. Some people are also fearful of the repercussions if they report what happened.

“Having a Hate Crime Advocate for Race and Faith related hate crime is an extremely positive step in ensuring that victims of hate crime have equal access to justice.”

The bespoke Hate Crime Advocacy Service will be available later this year.

- ENDS

Notes to editors:

Posted on Tuesday 11th October 2016
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