Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 12th June 2014
Title of Item/Report
Hate Crime
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on Hate Crime. "Empowering People to Tackle Hate Crime" (2010) identified a lack of action being taken to tackle disability and Hate Crime and had suggested ways to improve services. The Equality and Human Rights Commission had recommended that those leading on Hate Crime incorporate these findings into their work. The Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner was leading on this work across Tees and it was an operational priority for Cleveland Police.

The report provided information on the proposed approach to hate crime in Stockton as a result of changes introduced to improve hate crime reporting across Tees.

According to Home Office national figures for 2011-12 there were 43,738 hate crimes recorded by the police. It showed that Hate crime against vulnerable groups is on the rise. Of those hate crimes recorded, 82% were race-related, 10% were related to sexual orientation, 4% were religiously motivated and 4% were recorded as disability hate crimes. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission defines Hate Crime as any criminal offence committed against a person or property that was motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their:-

• Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
• Religion
• Gender or gender identity
• Sexual orientation
• Disability

The national picture showed that a significant amount of Hate Crime was still unreported, especially related to disability. In Oct 2013 a national Bill was put forward in Parliament which required Police Forces to register hate crime committed against people with learning disabilities as well as other forms of disability. In 2012 recently a piece of research "Manifesto for change" on the safety and security of disabled people conducted by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that violence and hostility was a daily experience for some disabled people.

The high levels of Hate Crime still being unreported was reflected across the country and had been identified as a priority for the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). This had led to some changes being made to the Hate Crime system across Tees.

At the present time across Tees each of the four local authorities had different methods of reporting, recording and promoting services in relation to Hate Crime incidents. In an effort to bring this together and had a co-ordinated approach to Hate Crime, a Tees Wide "Hate Crime" group had been established. This had been co-ordinated from the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner's office and has membership of key leads from each of the local authorities and Cleveland Police. It was chaired by the Project Manager from the Police and Crime Commissioners Office. As a result there would be a uniform "Don't tolerate hate" logo for Hate Crime across the Tees Valley.

Each Borough would work under the umbrella of the Tees Wide Hate Crime Group but would be required to develop its own approach to address hate crime at a local level.

The current structure for overseeing hate crime across Tees was detailed within the report.

There was an established multi-agency "Hate Crime" group in Stockton which was made up of key representatives from Cleveland Police, SBC Diversity Team, SBC Community Safety, SBC Housing Section, Tri-star, Endeavour and Tees Valley Housing, Stockton District Advice and Information Service and CESC. This group was chaired by the Community Safety Inspector from Cleveland Police and reported into the Safer Stockton Partnership.

All incidents were reported at reporting centres and were sent as they occur to the Stockton Anti-Social behaviour Team who logged all incidences onto the FLARE recording system. The SBC group meets monthly to look at Hate Crime cases and develops action plans for each case. The group also looked into monitoring cases that had been reported through the telephone reporting line. This information was shared and discussed regionally at the Tees Wide Hate Crime group and fed into the Tees Valley SIAG (Strategic Independent Advisory Group) which was led by the Police and chaired by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

There were six reporting centres across the Borough:-

• Stockton District Advice and Information Service (SDAIS) Bath Lane Stockton
• Municipal Buildings, Stockton Council
• Billingham Town Council Office, 1 Chapel Road, Billingham
• Stockton Library
• Billingham Library, Bedale Avenue
• Thornaby Central Library, Town Centre, Thornaby
• Thornaby Library, Westbury Street, Thornaby ( recently relocated )


The Hate Crime figures for Stockton had followed a similar pattern to the national with race being the main reason for hate crime and these were detailed within the report.

The table showed that the number of race related Hate Crimes in Stockton had gone down compared to the previous year. There had been an increase in the number of sexual orientation related and religion related Hate Crime. The level of Hate Crime related to disability had stayed the same, again reflecting the national picture. Cleveland Police data (April 2012 - 2013) for all authorities was attached to the report.
Across Tees the disability data was not broken down any further by the types of disability, but this would be incorporated in the new approach to dealing with Hate Crime. At present the definition was quite broad. Under the new approach an improved definition would be given allowing for disability Hate Crime to be recorded by sub-headings presenting a clearer picture on disability related Hate Crime.

In November 2013 the results of a mystery shopping exercise carried out in reporting centres across Tees highlighted a need to effectively train staff and raise awareness of hate crime and reporting procedures amongst key staff. The results of this mystery shopping exercise and the recommendations from it had been incorporated into a Tees Wide Hate Crime Operational priority.

Whilst key staff had previously been trained on how to deal with hate crime incidents (taking reports, logging information and explaining the processes) this training was carried out in 2009.

As part of the refreshed SBC approach the Stockton Hate Crime group recommend four key reporting centres:-

• Stockton Central Library
• Stockton District Advice and Information Service, Bath Lane
• Thornaby Central Library and Customer Service Centre
• Roseberry Billingham Library (Billingham Centre Library and Customer Service Centre, when it goes live)

The rationale is that they are central, are the centres that most Hate Crimes are reported and have private rooms for reporting "Hate Crime". All direct reporting centres will receive training on the correct procedures for reporting and recording hate crime.

In addition Stockton Hate Crime Group would increase the reach of awareness of Hate Crime by having 48 centres across the Borough that had information on how and where to report incidents, ensuring links were made with the Safe Place in Tees Scheme. These sites and their related organisations would be offered a basic level of awareness raising / training and posters and publicity material, provided via the Tees Wide Hate Crime Group.

In addition to providing training for the four reporting centres it was proposed to provide refresher training for key staffing groups including the Anti-social Behaviour Team, Customer Services, Housing and Security Centre and CESC staff as these staff groups were those who were more likely to deal with the victims of Hate Crime. This would allow for the inclusion of changes made to the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and would take into account any changes that had occurred in staffing.

Stockton Hate Crime Group would use the disability sub-headings that Tees Wide Hate Crime Group recommends in reporting to ensure consistency across Tees.

Stockton Hate Crime Group would support the Tees Wide ‘Hate Crime' campaign which sees Police and partners:-

• Working with key organisations to raise awareness of reporting hate crime e.g. those working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

• Providing educational lessons in schools on hate crime issues including those committed via social networks and the importance of internet safety when dealing with hate crime delivered over social media.

• Co-ordinating the reporting of hate crime incidents across Tees.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The report and its content be noted.

2. The approach agreed by the Safer Stockton Partnership to Hate Crime in Stockton outlined in paragraphs 15 -19 be endorsed.
Reasons for the Decision
The report contains the findings and recommendations of the Tees Wide Hate Crime Group.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None.
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 20th June 2014
Attachment

Date of Publication: 17 June 2014


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