Transgender case study
Reporting and witnesses
Amanda is a transgender woman. She was walking her bike along the High Street when a man and a woman drove past in a car. The car stopped by the kerb and the woman shouted something like “You shouldn’t be wearing stuff like that.” Amanda lost her balance and accidentally brushed the car with her bike. The man got out of the car and assaulted Amanda, causing minor injury. He then got back into the car and drove off.
Amanda walked to the police station, which was nearby, and reported the assault at the front-counter. Another motorist had witnessed the assault and came into the police station and gave a statement in support of Amanda.
The man was traced and received a police caution.
Amanda and the other motorist ensured that action was taken against this offender and that he was brought to the attention of the authorities. Witnesses can provide important evidence against hate crime offenders. Victims or witnesses can report hate crime either directly to the police, to a Hate Incident Reporting Centre (HIRC) or online using ‘True Vision’ at www.report-it.org.uk
Source – Service User, interviewed 06/07/16
Black, minority and ethnic case study 1
Positive court outcome
Brenda lived in a block of flats where tension had been rising between residents. One neighbour approached Brenda and started insulting her using racially abusive language. Brenda did not respond and the neighbour then assaulted Brenda, causing minor injury.
Initially Brenda did not want to report the incident, preferring just to move past what happened. However the neighbour called the police, stating Brenda was the perpetrator of the offence. Fortunately another neighbour overheard the incident and confirmed that Brenda was the victim.
The neighbour was charged with racially aggravated assault and received a custodial sentence. As the attack was proven to be racially motivated the neighbour received a higher sentence than would otherwise have been the case.
Hate crime carries a ‘sentence uplift’, which means courts can take account of aggravating factors in a hate crime and increase the sentence given accordingly.
Source – Service User, interviewed 22/08/16.
LGBT case study
Enforcement outcome from reporting to police
James was still a student when he realised he was gay. James came out to his class but a group of boys at his school began to harass him. At first this was just staring or making sarcastic comments, but one day James was out with his boyfriend when they encountered the group. The group began to follow James and his boyfriend. James said he would call the police and members of the group started to push and kick him.
James got away and told his school what was happening. A police liaison officer at the school encouraged James to report the incident. The police took action by investigating any criminal activity and issuing harassment warnings to the group. This prevented the group from bothering James any further.
When James came out a minority of people at his school used this as an opportunity to harass him. James did the best thing in this situation; he told someone what was happening. This ensured that action could be taken to deal with this behaviour. This also let the school play a role in supporting him and ensure that future incidents were monitored.
October 11th is National Coming Out Day. Follow the conversation and celebration at www.facebook.com/nationalcomingoutday
Source – Victim Support case ref. VS-2451551-X2KI.
Disability case study
Mental health, experience of third party reporting centre
Roger received harassment from his neighbours for a number of months. Roger has mental health issues and suspected his neighbours were targeting him because of this. His neighbours would knock on his door in the middle of the night and leave offensive and abusive written messages for him to find.
Roger felt intimidated by this behaviour and was concerned that reporting this directly to the police might escalate a response from his neighbours. He was made aware by a local support service that there are places other than police stations to report hate; Hate Incident Reporting Centres, or ‘HIRCs’, which are located inside existing services.
Roger visited the HIRC with a supporter, where the details were taken in a neutral and comfortable environment by a trained member of staff. The HIRC staff member advised that the details could be sent directly to the police or Roger could submit information anonymously online using ‘True Vision’ at www.report-it.org.uk
Roger was able to report his hate crime without attending a police station or having uniformed officers attend his address. There are HIRCs like the one that Roger visited all around the county. A full list of these can be found on the Hate Crime page of the Essex Police website. They can offer advice and support around reporting a hate crime or hate incident and ensure you get the help you need.
Source – Service User, reported to HIRC after input to his support group. Account taken 23/09/16
Black, minority and ethnic case study 2
Young person, racially and religious abused, positive experience of support services
Faisal had just started secondary school when he started to be bullied by other students. The bullying included Faisal and some of his friends being targeted with racial abuse and being called ‘terrorist’
The bullying had a huge impact on Faisal; he lost his confidence and had trouble sleeping. He did not want to go back to school. There was also an impact on his family and on his wider community, who were worried about Faisal and the behaviour he had been subjected to.
Faisal’s family reported the bullying to the school and to the police. The school isolated and suspended a number of the responsible students. One of the students was interviewed by the police. Faisal and his family were referred to a local Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) support group who offered emotional support to them. This support group also worked with the local youth service to arrange one-to-one boxing training for Faisal that helped develop his confidence and concentration.
Dealing with hate and supporting those victimised by it is the responsibility of many different agencies and organisations in Essex. In Faisal’s case a specialised support group was able to give emotional support and arrange positive activities that helped Faisal and his family.
For more information on support in your area visit the Victim’s Gateway on www.essexvictimsgateway.org or contact Victim Support for emotional and practical support on 0300 303 0165.
Source – Case study provided by Hate Crime Officers and Harlow Ethnic Minority Umbrella (HEMU)