Today we launched a citywide Hate Crime campaign to raise awareness, increase reporting and to tackle the number of incidents taking place. We were joined by members of Shout Out Radio, LGBT Bristol, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson and members from Bristol Hate Crime Services who have supported us in making this happen.
The project, made possible by funding from the Avon and Somerset Police Crime Commissioners Community Action Fund, aims to tackle Hate Crime in Bristol with a series of street stencils supported with poster and social media outreach.
We want to raise awareness of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and Race related Hate Crime incidents that have taken place across the city and to make people stop and think about what Hate Crime is and the importance of reporting it.
Hate Crime is motivated by prejudice against a person because of their: ethnicity or race, disability (including mental health & learning difficulties), sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, age, gender, marital or pregnancy status.
A Hate Crime can take many forms including physical attacks such as hitting someone, name calling or verbal abuse, or even bad gestures. It can include threats, harassment, intimidation or humiliation. In some cases, it involves vandalism or damage to someone’s property, nasty letters or graffiti and increasingly in our digital age: abusive emails, cyber-bullying and trolling.
Hate crime affects the individual in every area of their life, work, school and home. It has a very detrimental impact on wellbeing and people can be left feeling humiliated, guilty and too embarrassed to complain. It can also lead to emotional and physical symptoms and distress. Over the last 3 years Homophobic of Biphobic Hate Crime has accounted for 13.5% of all incidents reported, Transphobic hate crime accounted for 3.6% whilst last year Race related Hate Crime accounted for 82% of the cases reported to Avon and Somerset Police.
Along with the street stencils we, with the support of Bristol Hate Crime Services, have compiled information on a series of Hate Crime incidents with information about each case and any outcomes or the effects it has had on people.
Just like prejudice, Hate Crime has no place in our city and yet we are seeing an increase with the number reported to the police, up by 18% last year. Some of this comes from better reporting but we know that Hate Crime and specifically Hate Crime against the LGBT+ community is under reported. We want to make people think about Hate Crime, to stop incidents taking place and if it does happen for people to feel confident in reporting it, even if they do not want any action to be taken and that it is taken seriously.
Avon and Somerset Police Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens said:
“I was delighted to be able to award £4,950 from my Community Action Fund, administered by the Police Community Trust, to Bristol Pride for their city wide domestic violence, Trans and Hate Crime awareness campaigns.
“As individuals, I believe our differences should be celebrated, it’s our uniqueness that makes each and every one of us who we are. Being targeted because of your age, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other reason is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset.
There is lots of work being done and we have some fantastic services helping to support victims of hate crime, however it is essential that people, who have experienced hate crime, come forward and report it.”
To report a Hate Crime call Bristol Hate Crime Services on 0800 171 2272 or call the police on 101. If it is an emergency or the incident is taking place now then call 999.