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New plan to tackle hate crime and bring communities together launched in Greater Manchester

22 Oct 2020 - 13:13 by michelle.foster

gmcaA comprehensive new plan has been launched, outlining how hate crime will be tackled and communities brought together in Greater Manchester over the next three years.

The Plan to Tackle Hate Crime will raise awareness of hate crimes and encourage people to report them, while also improving support for victims of hate incidents.

Hate crime is defined as ‘any criminal offences perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility, prejudice, towards someone based on a personal characteristic’. In Greater Manchester hate crime is monitored across six strands: race, religion, sexual orientation, trans identity, disability and alternative subcultures.

Figures show there were 488 hate crime prosecutions in Greater Manchester from March 2019 to March 2020.

Work has already begun in our city-region to tackle the problem of hate crime through advisory and scrutiny panels. Activist Carl Austin-Behan is Greater Manchester’s LGBT Adviser, while an LGBT Panel and Disabled People’s Panel have been established to support the development of policies and drive meaningful change. Work is also underway to establish the Women and Girl’s Equality Panel and the Race Equality Panel to build on this approach.

Other priorities in the plan also include the development of local plans for specific communities, provide appropriate action and support for victims and continued work on the TravelSafe Partnership to combat hate crime on the transport network.

A total of 817 people were consulted on the hate crime plan, with 90% of respondents agreeing with the proposals. There was broad support for the inclusion of hate against women and girls to be monitored as a strand of hate crime, while age was the next most suggested strand. The results will be used to inform the delivery of the plan.

Proposals are also in place to increase the number of hate crimes referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision by 50%. A pilot programme is currently taking place in Bolton where once a hate crime has been reported, it will be overseen by a new appointed Greater Manchester Police Hate Crime Coordinator and dedicated CPS lawyer. While the pilot takes place any police decisions regarding hate crimes will not be actioned, until they have been reviewed by both staff members.

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