The scheme, called ‘Safe Newham’, will support 12 third-party reporting sites to allow hate crimes to be reported more easily.
There is often a reluctance to report hate crime for a variety of reasons, including language barriers, cultural obstacles, and distrust towards local authorities. This project aims to increase the reporting of hate crime in Newham, allowing residents to feel safer and provide better support to victims.
Councillor James Beckles, Cabinet member for Crime and Community Safety, said, “Nobody should have to endure hate crimes in this day and age, and giving victims the support to report these crimes is an important step in reducing them.
“This administration wants to encourage closer bonds between the residents of Newham. In a borough as diverse as ours, integration is essential and our social integration strategy will help balance important but detached cultural networks with wider engagement.
“The Safe Newham project is an important step to combat hate crime and encourage cohesive communities within the borough.”
As part of the scheme, nationally accredited hate crime training will be issued to 40 frontline council staff, 40 society and faith leaders, alongside 20 youth champions. The training will provide an understanding of hate crime and why it is important to report incidents.
The council will also launch 12 community-based third-party reporting sites. These will allow victims to report hate crime to trained members of staff as an alternative to going to the police. These will be located across the borough at: Green Street, Forest Gate, Manor Park and Custom House and Canning Town libraries, Forest Gate and Beckton Globe youth centres, Roma Support Group, Shpresa and Renewal Programme community centres and Plashet Grove, Manor Park and Forest Gate mosques.
Each of these reporting sites will also will host community hate crime workshops for local residents. These workshops will raise awareness of the reporting sites, increase understanding of hate crime, and give residents a chance to give their views.
Hate crime is defined as acts of violence or hostility directed at people because who they are or someone thinks they are. This can be due to a person’s disability, gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and belief, immigration status or nationality or any other perceived difference.
The project will be delivered by Protection Approaches with the support of Newham Council’s Community Neighbourhoods team. Protection Approaches is a London Based charity working to end identity based violence.