How North Yorkshire Police is committing to tackling hate crime
In January 2018, North Yorkshire Police pledged to tackle hate crime among young people, one of the priorities of a new Children and Young People strategy.
The strategy was developed on the back of recommendations made by the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, as well as the opinions of more than 1,500 young people who took part in the Youth Commission’s first “Big Conversation” – a piece of peer research into issues that affect children and young people across the county.
In addition to hate crime the other key issues addressed in the strategy include young people’s relationship with the police, online safety, how the police deal with young people with mental health problems, abusive relationships, drug and alcohol issues, and missing young people and exploitation.
In relation to hate crime the Youth Commission findings highlighted that young people in North Yorkshire:
* Think that hate crime seems to be increasing
* Believe that verbal abuse and negative use of social media exacerbates the problems
* Are concerned about hate crime based on sexuality, race and religion
* Can lack confidence to approach police with issues
* Think that more needs to be done to address hate crime
Since January 2018, there have been 67 hate crimes involving victims under 18 in North Yorkshire. Of these, hate crimes motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry constituted the largest share of hate crimes comprising 65.6% of the crimes reported. Meanwhile, 10.45% were related to the young person’s sexual orientation and 7.46% were driven by their disability. The remainder of the hate crimes were motivated by the young person’s religion (5.97%), transgender identity (5.97) or other (4.48%).
Since the launch of the strategy in January, in addition to the close work being carried in partnership with the North Yorkshire Youth Commission and the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), the force has:
* Introduced a session at Crucial Crew sessions, delivered by Barnardo’s Prouder Communities, to raise awareness around LGBT+ with young people. So far 60 primary schools and 1,500 primary year 6 students have attended.
* Delivered enhanced hate crime training and resources for North Yorkshire Police officers and staff around identifying, supporting and signposting young people around their mental health and well-being which can be attributed by instances of bullying associated with ‘prejudices’ amongst young people. More training is planned in 2019.
* Together with the PFCC, supported independent reporting for victims through Supporting Victims service and True Vision. Independent reporting was a key recommendation from the 2015-16 Big Conversation.
* The PFCC has also commissioned a range of support services, including Independent Victim Advisers, Counselling and Restorative Justice services for all victims of Hate Crime.
Inspector Ed Rogerson, the force’s Youth Engagement Lead, said: “Hate crime and prejudices can ruin a young person’s life.
“The launch of the Children and Young People strategy at the beginning of 2018 has enabled us to look at ways we can improve based on their views and experiences.
“We want young people in North Yorkshire to know that we do not tolerate this.”
The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, set up the North Yorkshire Youth Commission.
She said: “It is vital we give young people of voice, and I am very proud of the work the Youth Commission have done in raising awareness of Hate Crime amongst younger people.
“Arguably more important still is that their voice is listened to, and something changes as a result. I am therefore pleased to see the progress North Yorkshire Police have made in both engaging with young people about this topic, including new training.
North Yorkshire Youth Commission member, Simon Hoyle added: “The Youth Commission are working in partnership with and North Yorkshire Police and the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to deliver workshops to young people to educate people on the issues and the law – we are asking young people to look after each other and keep each other safe.”