|New Hate Crime Service For Ealing|
West London Equality Centre has free support scheme
Concern over an increase in 'Hate Crime' has led to a new service being set-up in Ealing.
The term ' hate crime' can describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
The number of recorded hate crimes in England and Wales has more than doubled in the past five years, from 42,255 to 94,098 (April 2017 to March 2018.)
The Home Office said this was largely driven by improvements in the way police record hate crime but also noted “spikes'' following certain events such as the EU referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017.
Police recently appealed for information over what they described as a racially motivated attack in North Ealing.
The West London Equality Centre (WLEC), a charity based in Ealing Broadway, has had a presence in the the borough for over 50 years and provides advice over social security, housing, family, employment, discrimination and immigration.
Ealing has had no hate crime plan in place (as recommended by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime), however the WLEC has now been given National Lottery Community Funding to support and assist victims through a new free service.
There are currently organisations that offer reporting services to victims but the WLEC’s new Hate Crime service will allow the WLEC to allocate a coordinator or trained volunteer to take a detailed account of the incident and the wellbeing of the victim will be assessed. If a hate crime or incident is apparent, the client is encouraged and assisted to report the matter to the police and, where additional support is required in this regard, the WLEC will accompany the client to the initial interview with the police.
Victims of hate crimes who approach the WLEC for the first time are informed about hate crime law and the responsibilities of the police in investigating and prosecuting perpetrators. If a hate crime or incident is not evident from the facts provided the reasons are explained to the individual who may require assistance in another area of law.
Hate crime clients are also advised on related matters, such as restraining orders and civil remedies, particularly, where anti-social behaviour is a motivating or resulting factor. They are also able to access advice in all other areas of law in which the WLEC provides assistance and advice.
Once an incident has been reported to the police, and the client’s statement has been taken, the WLEC will liaise with the police, where necessary, in order to update the client of the progress in their case. This can be useful to the police and the client alike because the client does not have to chase the police for information, and should the police require further information from the client, the WLEC can assist the process.
The WLEC will also liaise with the local authority safeguarding structure that, together with the police and other agencies, have a statutory duty to develop a crime plan for the Borough, including the implementation of strategies around detecting and prosecuting hate crimes.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A VICTIM OF HATE CRIME CALL THE WLEC FREE HATE CRIME LINE 0800 294 3479
4 September 2019