Religious Hatred

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd January 2015.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to reduce the incidence of hate crimes against religious minorities.

Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK Government takes all forms of hate crime very seriously. We deplore all religious and racially motivated attacks.

The Government’s action plan on hate crime brings together the activities of government departments, who work with local agencies, voluntary organisations and the independent advisory group to meet three main objectives:

• preventing hate crime happening by challenging the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred, and encouraging early intervention to reduce the risk of incidents escalating;

• increasing the reporting of hate crime that occurs by building victims’ confidence to come forward and seek justice, and working with partners at national and local level to ensure the right support is available when they do;

• working with the agencies that make up the criminal justice system to improve

the operational response to hate crime. We want a more effective end-to-end process, with agencies identifying hate crimes early, managing cases jointly and dealing with offenders robustly.

The progress report that was published in May last year provides both an overview of achievements and case study examples, which demonstrate how work is being carried out locally. It also highlights areas that have evolved since the

action plan was launched, and what is being done to deal with risks that have emerged. The report has previously been placed in the House of CommonsLibrary.

It is vital that the police engage effectively with communities and respond to increases in hate crime. Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were issued with guidance in 2014 on dealing with hate crimes, which includes

advice on responding to incidents and how to monitor and deal with community tensions.

We are encouraging anyone who is a victim of a hate crime or subject to religion or race-related abuse or attack to report the incident to the police, so that the offenders can be dealt with appropriately.

We have also worked with organisations, including Show Racism the Red Card, the Anne Frank Trust and the Jewish Museum to raise awareness of prejudice with children and young people, to prevent hate crime from happening in the first

place.

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