Hate Crime Strategy Consultation Begins
Consultation has begun on a major strategy to address Hate Crime in Hertfordshire.

Led by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire Constabulary and the County Council, the draft strategy aims to improve prevention, resolution and the support of victims.

Recent figures for Hertfordshire show recorded instances of Hate Crime rose from 1597 in 2015/16 to 2080 in 2016/17* – a rise of over 30% on the previous year.

A Hate Crime is any criminal offence targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire says the rise in cases shows the need for greater action.
“More people are confident in reporting incidents of Hate Crime, which is to be welcomed, but the fact remains this is a vicious crime which often has a long-term impact on victims.”
“This causes distress to the victim far beyond the incident and can change the way someone behaves for life. It mustn’t be tolerated.”
“My Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan is called “Everybody’s Business”, and we are all responsible for challenging this appalling behaviour.”

Draft Hate Crime strategy and an easy-to-read guide

The strategy focuses on four key areas:

  • Challenging prejudice wherever it appears by educating the public to identify and reject hate and prejudice in all forms.
  • This includes target groups such as schools, the general public and the
    professional workforce.
  • Raise awareness of the impact of online harassment and Hate Crimes.
  • Promoting victim confidence in the system. 
  • Bringing offenders to justice using the appropriate legal tools.
  • Addressing the experience of the criminal justice system for both victims and offenders.
  • Increasing reporting of Hate Crime both through calls to the police and also through third-party reporting centres.
  • Supporting the victim to cope and recover.
  • Putting them at the heart of the criminal justice system.
  • Reducing repeat victimisation and improving confidence.
  • Further provision of an enhanced victim service delivered by case managers, with
    an overall aim of improving victim experience, satisfaction and on-going wellbeing.
  • Understanding exactly what Hate Crime looks like in Hertfordshire.
  • Who is affected and where?
  • Identifying and recognising emerging threats.
  • Transparently evaluating the work we do to tackle Hate Crime and support victims.
  • Effective use of data on Hate Crime using an intelligence-led approach so that we can be placed on a path of continuous improvement.
Superintendent Dean Patient, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Strategic Lead on tackling Hate Crime, said:

“Hate has corrosive impact on communities wherever it occurs, as well as a lasting impact on those individuals who have had to suffer it.”

“The figures show the issue is not just about racism or Brexit – a significant number of reports relate to hostility towards someone’s disability or sexual orientation. For these reasons it is vital that we have the views of everyone affected by hate crime now as this strategy will inform how we tackle hate crime and support victims in the future.”

By far the greatest number of Hate Crime incidents reported to the police in Hertfordshire were due to the victim being targeted because of their perceived race or ethnic background.
This accounted for 75% of all reports in 2016/17 followed by Disability (12%) and Homophobia (7%).

Guy Pratt, Deputy Director of Community Protection at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“Hate crime in Hertfordshire is not something that will be tolerated. This joint strategy will ensure partners work together to support victims, bring offenders to justice and prevent hate crime in the county.”

“More people are reporting hate crime and we need to make sure we’re all well equipped to support victims and challenge prejudice. I would encourage anyone who experiences hate crime to report it. The more we know about what’s happening, the more we can do to stop it.”
The consultation runs for 12 weeks and ends on the 30th June. To respond to the consultation, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations or email HateCrimeConsultation@hertfordshire.gov.uk.