'Devastating' number of hate crimes committed by people close to home

Posted by ap507 at Sep 22, 2014 09:30 AM |
Study discovers that many perpetrators of hate crimes are in trustworthy positions to victims, such as friends, colleagues and carers

As part of the Leicester Hate Crime Project, researchers from the Department of Criminology have found that a ‘devastating’ number of hate crimes are committed by people closer to home than many would like to believe.

The project, which was led by the Department's Stevie-Jade Hardy (pictured) and Dr Neil Chakraborti, has highlighted that in over a third of cases offenders are known to the victim, either as acquaintances, neighbours, friends, work colleagues, family members or carers.

Harrowing examples crimes victims have experienced include disabled individuals being tipped from wheelchairs, human excrement being posted through letterboxes at homes and guide dogs being attacked in the street, leading many victims to feel unsafe stepping out the front door.

The research team heard from nearly 1,500 victims targeted on the basis of their identity characteristics or perceived ‘difference’ and found that many felt vulnerable, depressed or suicidal as a result of hate crime.

Victims also felt neglected by support networks, with less than a quarter reporting their most recent experience of hate crime to the police, and fewer still reporting to other networks, organisations or individuals in a position of authority and trust.

The Leicester Centre for Hate Studies, based at the University, offers guidance on how to implement the recommendations from this research, and is encouraging professionals from all sectors to pledge support to the Victims’ Manifesto so they can take strides to eliminate hate crime.

Listen to a podcast interview (compatible with most web browsers) with Dr Neil Chakraborti and Stevie-Jade Hardy and watch a video about the 'Harms of Hate' below: