MOPAC (the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) has finally launched ‘A Hate Crime Reduction Strategy’. Get past the usual preliminaries of putting the discussion of hate crime in context, MOPAC’s response seems to be highly reliant on a major focus of activity around Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015.
1. Dissemination of a Hate Crime Pack to every school in London by 2015
2. Creating a London wide hate crime awareness campaign for Hate Crime Awareness Week in 2015
3. Development of a smart phone reporting app
4. Develop a third party pan London telephone reporting mechanism
5. Develop a consistent process for third party reporting
6. Develop London specific resources within the True Vision website
7. MPS will flag any crime against a disabled person as a hate crime in the first instance
8. An enhanced service for repeat victims
9. Better sharing of date between criminal justice and housing providers
10. Development of local engagement plans
11. Development of a Victims portal
12. Implementation of a MARAC or similar process for Hate Crime
13. MPS will develop a hate crime hotspot map to help agencies
14. Support victims of on line hate crime
15. MPS will introduce Hate Crime Liaison officers in every London borough
16. Development of Hate Crime advocates
17. Better training for front line police officers
18. Better training for CPS
19. Better tracking by the CPS
20. Support hate crime victims to seek restorative justice
21. National Probation Service will ensure pre sentence reports recognize hate crime legislation and include the victims perspective
22. MOPAC to create a performance dashboard to track agencies performance
23. MOPAC to commission an annual victim satisfaction survey
24. MPS to provide better leadership and engagement on hate crime with statutory and community stakeholders
25. Development of a twice year Hate Crime Panel
26. The Mayor of London will write various letters to various agencies calling for action on Hate Crime
The strategy is to be welcomed for it’s focus on the integration of services, promotion of awareness and flagging of disability hate crime, and introduction of Hate Crime Liaison officers .
Bearing in mind that Hate Crime is not included in the MOPAC 7, (if the issue is really worthy of such investment and discussion then surely the MOPAC 7 needs to be upgraded to MOPAC 8, or is that a PR and branding disaster for the GLA) and that a lot of what is stated is already offered within individual boroughs, the strategy seems to have missed a crucial point.
Where dissatisfaction comes to the fore for so many Hate crime victims is the lack of ‘investigation’ and successful outcomes for victims. There is no mention of hate crime on the basis of nationality or immigration status, (except on page 19 where ‘migrant’ communities are noted for underreporting) or homelessness, which is increasingly an issue in London. On the issue of MARAC’s specifically, guidance needs to be issued (as with domestic violence) on how MARAC’s will deal with issues of no recourse to public funds and irregular immigration status and how the police will distance themselves from their immigration enforcement role with the Home Office. The devil as always will be in the detail and many local partnerships will find themselves needing to cross reference their strategies against MOPAC to ensure both synergy as well as a possible saving of resources. In so doing, there needs to be a better understanding of localism, (especially in relation to the housing needs of victims) as well as the need for local campaigning on awareness raising.
Overall 7 out of 10.
You can read the full strategy here
The MOPAC Victims Fund which benefits victims of crime across London is providing grants of between £10,000 and £80,000 to cover any costs relating to work which builds the capacity of organisations working to support victims of crime. Grants are between £10,000 and £20,000 for individual organisations and up to £80,000 for partnerships of three or more organisations. The deadline is Monday 26th January 2015, 5pm.