Hate crime, and how to tackle it, will be the focus of a meeting to be held at Croydon Town Hall on Wednesday 20 April, starting at 6pm.
The event will cover:
- the action being taken by the police and the Safer Croydon Partnership (SCP) to combat hate crime;
- how to report hate crime; and
- protection against hate crime, and the consequences of this offence.
The meeting will host stalls run by a range of organisations including the Asian Resource Centre, Croydon Adult Learning And Training, Disability Croydon, Aurora LGBT, the police consultative group and Neighbourhood Watch.
“The aim of the meeting is to encourage people to report this crime, and to showcase the support networks that are available for those who have been victims. Hate crime needs addressing, and I’d encourage people to come along and find out more about how we can stop this offence and learn more about the many groups that we have in the borough that can help people.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
He will open the meeting with an update on the steps taken by the SCP, and the impact that hate crime has on its victims.
The SCP’s undertakings have included working with 80 students from Croydon College to foster greater understanding of hate crime; to offer financial support for groups involved in promoting tolerance and cohesion; and to encourage the LGBT community to get more involved in the night-time economy.
The Home Office Prevent programme is designed to help stop people supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves, and the partnership’s counter-terrorism agenda includes work to help stop Islamophobic hate crime, such as presentations to students in four Croydon schools, covering seven year groups – an estimated 500-plus students.
There are also regular walkabouts in Croydon town centre and district centres – including Norbury, Waddon and New Addington – giving the cabinet member and borough commander the chance to meet the community and hear its concerns.
Croydon borough commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Tarrant, said: “As part of our dedicated response, we have a specialist team of over 30 officers whose sole job is to investigate hate crime offences in Croydon.
“We have also delivered training to all our staff to provide more effective support to victims, and will use all means at our disposal, including body-worn video, to prosecute suspects for this heinous crime.”
Mr Tarrant will use the meeting to present more on the actions Croydon police are taking to stop this offence, and the importance of understanding the consequences it has on victims. This will be followed by a question time.
Tell Mama, an organisation that measures hate crime against Muslims and offers victims support, will also be represented at the event, and the deputy director, Iman Abou Atta, will make a presentation, which includes trends in hate crime against Muslims.
The evening will be co-hosted by Croydon’s Safer Neighbourhood Board and Faiths Together in Croydon, and funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.