Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP will be visiting the North West of England today to look at what is being done to tackle hate crime in the region.
Hate crime is when someone is targeted because of their actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. It is a criminal offence and the law provides additional penalties for such crimes.
The North West of England has one of the highest conviction rates for hate crime prosecutions, with nearly 86% of hate crimes prosecuted in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria resulting in a conviction.
The Solicitor will visit the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) office in Carlisle to discuss its efforts to clamp down on hate crime in the North West, including looking at its successful anti-hate crime education campaign that has been rolled out in schools to help teach young people about the impact hate related bullying has on victims.
As part of the campaign, schools can obtain free packs which include lesson planners for teachers and a DVD that features scenarios based on real-life incidents in which young people have experienced bullying or hate crime because of their identity.
The Solicitor will also visit Carlisle Mencap who received funding last year through the Home Office’s Community Demonstrations Project programme. Mencap has developed a unique teaching programme which was created by people with learning disabilities, for people with learning disabilities based on their own experiences. The programme explains what disability hate crime is, how to recognise it and where people can go for help and support.
Solicitor General Robert Buckland said:
Hate crime has absolutely no place in society, so it’s encouraging to see the work that’s happening in the North West to try to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place.
These innovative schemes can help get to the root of the problem and show others what can be done to tackle hate crime in the community.
Government is taking action at all levels and we are seeing more people prosecuted than ever before - but we need to encourage victims to report these crimes if we are to stamp this out.
The CPS North West Schools Project packs can be downloaded from the Schools Projects webpages. Each pack contains a DVD and lesson plans for teachers. There is a pack for disability hate crime, racist and religious hate crime, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender hate crime.