Three year ago Communities Inc identified the need for local businesses to come together with the voluntary and public sector organisations to find solutions for mutual problems. Tackling hate crime is one of this problems and a key priority for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and for the Nottinghamshire Police. Just like the rest of the UK, hate crime figures are rising in Nottingham with certain areas more affected than others. If left unchallenged, hate crime not only affects individuals but can also devastate communities.
Hyson Green Stands up to Hate Crime is a campaign to raise awareness about hate crime is and when and how it can be reported. It hopes to improve the safety of residents and shoppers in the area. The project brings together over 30 local business and voluntary organisations to strengthen hate crime reporting in Hyson Green.
Hyson Green is Nottingham 2nd most popular shopping area after the city centre. It has the highest number of BME and new arrivals in the city (over 40%). People from some of these communities are new to the UK and therefore an easy target and usually unaware of the criminal justice. Some of them do not have the confidence to go into police stations or community centre if they were a victim of hate crime, but regularly visit local shops. This is why our project involves businesses in tackling hate crime: to promote new third reporting centre we set up at NG7 and send out positive messages that hate crime will not be tolerated in this community.
As part of the project, we held a community dialogue on the 26th April, hosted by the Punjabi Centre in Hyson Green to discuss hate crime and how it can be better tackled. Discussions at the event included what could be done to prevent hate crime taking place and what more the police could do to build trust and confidence in local communities in seeking help when they experience it.
The need for creating opportunities for people of different backgrounds to interact was highlighted as key in building better relationships and reducing people’s concerns and fears about ‘others’ who are ‘different’. It was felt in the longer term as more people report hate crime and the criminal justice agencies prosecute perpetrators, this would send out positive messages that hate crime Can and WILL be tackled.