Hate Crime, We Can Stop It.

Hate crime –  can we change it through education?

It is a sad reality that hate crime is on the increase in the UK and around the world. 

What is a hate crime? There is a clear definition:

 ‘a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence’.

hate crimes can include:

•       Threatening behaviour

•       Assault, including spitting

•       Robbery

•       Damage to property, eg graffiti

•       Inciting others to commit hate crimes

•       Harassment

You can report hate crime online. The police say 6,193 hate crimes have been reported since the UK referendum to leave the European Union. Many who voted to leave stated that immigration was the key reason they elected ‘Leave.’ 

But how can we stamp out Hate Crime?

Well, to me it’s very clear. Hate is often borne out of ignorance.

The referendum showed that those parts of the UK that experienced the lowest levels of migration were the most worried about it. Is it possible their fears driven by something they hadn’t fully experienced — perhaps?

I have been sickened to hear of children as young as five and six shouting racial and religious abuse at others. “Gay” in many schools is used as an insult to hurt and offend.

Education again holds the key. It’s more than just teaching tolerance, it’s about acceptance. Understanding and embracing diversity is not just a good thing, It’s a great thing!

Freedom charity has worked with tens of thousands of young people in schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK.

Over 45,000 copies of my book But it’s not Fair have helped children understand forced marriage and my new book Cut Flowers will hopefully end FGM in a generation. Young people want to be part of the solution of stopping dishonour crime. Young people we have worked with show  compassion  and understanding and believe there is no place for hate crime in today’s society.

Although reports of hate crime are on the increase, those most likely to suffer are those least likely to speak out.

In the last four weeks a number of talented people have been talking to me about leaving the UK to move to the European Union.

People who have contacted me, including children, believe hate crime is part and parcel of the new world.

Many blame its rise on Brexit, but I do not believe it has happened overnight. It’s more deep-rooted and it’s wrong.

The outpouring of love and unity that followed an arson attack on a shop owned by an immigrant family in Norwich was extraordinary. It sent a powerful and resolute message of solidarity and hope and showed good will always triumph over the evil of a hateful and ignorant minority.

Police and the courts do take these crimes seriously — and for the ‘hate’ element of an offence — an increase in the sentence of fifty percent may be added.