PCVC hosts specialist conference to tackle Hate Crime
Practitioners across County Durham and Darlington were planning their future work together for tackling hate crime at a conference held in Newton Aycliffe today.
Over 100 delegates attended the conference, which was hosted by the Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC). Hate Crime remains a key priority for the PCVC, and has been throughout his tenure.
Mr Hogg said: "Reducing the impact of Hate Crime remains one of my priorities. Today’s Conference builds upon my previous seminars on hate crime. We have listened to what people have said and I am pleased that good progress has been made towards tackling hate crime locally. However I recognise that there is still much to do. I note that the number of recorded hate crimes has risen, and am pleased this appears largely to be because victims are increasingly confident to report incidents to the Police. People in this area continues to show higher levels of confidence in policing than in many other parts of the country.
Today we have focused on how we can further develop joint working to improve community cohesion and tackle hate crime. Through a range of workshops we have identified a series of projects to help us to understand and reduce the true level of hate crime and incidents, increase reporting of hate incidents, provide effective support for victims and ensure that we get effective prosecutions. I am looking forward to seeing these ideas translate into an action plan to tackle and reduce hate crime.”
The conference was opened by Mr Hogg, and chaired by James Kingett, from Show Racism the Red Card. Delegates were delighted to receive a speech from Stephen Miller, the Paralympic Gold Medallist as the key note speaker.
Stephen Miller said: It was great to be back to address the Hate Crime Conference today. It is great to be back today, and whilst there is always more to do, it was good to see what has already been achieved. It is so important that we continue to address this big issue. I often remind people that respect is the highest currency we have. I believe events like today help to strengthening the message that hate crime won’t be tolerated.”
The conference heard four brave hate crime victims share their stories, to show the positive and negative aspects of their experience. In addition a video was also show which highlighted the prejudice which a Syrian refugee family faced after being housed and settled in the North East. These presentations showed that despite a low number of reported incidents across county Durham and Darlington, hate crime is happening within our communities and that victims need support.
Students from the Hermitage Academy Chester Le Street were in attendance. They delivered a powerful presentation on the holocaust.
Graham Hall, Head of Community Safety, Darlington Borough Council said: “Today serves as a great reminder of the enormous impact hate crime can have on people within our communities. Lots has already been achieved however there is always more that can be done. The agencies across County Durham and Darlington, and the wider region remain committed to working together in partnership to tackle this issue.”
Notes for Editors
Contact: Sarah Harris, Media and Engagement Officer 07814 174417 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: James Kingett, Show Racism the Red Card, Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, and Stephen Miller, Paralympian.
This is the second of Ron Hogg’s, Hate Crime Conferences which Stephen Miller has spoken at. The first he attended was in June 2014.
Posted on Wednesday 4th July 2018