National Police Chiefs issue guidance on reporting hate crime against Chinese and Southeast Asian communities

The following news item is a general discussion on the subject of racism during the Coronavirus pandemic.

There are two items here. The first is a letter sent by the National Police Chiefs Council to the Heads of the Independent Advisory Groups across the country.

Message from National Police Chiefs Council

Reporting Hate Crime

WE hope this letter finds you well in these challenging times. We write in our capacity as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs Council Leads on Hate Crime to you all, in your role as members of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, we have been struck by the numerous examples of how the current national emergency has brought out the best in so many of us: from the key workers across the emergency services going out every day to work tirelessly to keep us all safe, to the volunteers who have been supporting their local communities and the members of the public who have gone the extra mile to raise funds for good causes.

However, unfortunately there is a small minority in our society who during this time have targeted individuals and communities for abuse in relation to COVID-19. In the lead up to the lockdown we observed a significant increase in hate crimes and incidents targeting members of the Chinese and Southeast Asian communities, whilst our third sector partners TellMAMA and the Community Security Trust have raised concerns about the proliferation of far-right anti-Muslim and antisemitic online material in relation to the pandemic. Meanwhile, there are underlying concerns that many people may not be coming forward to report hate crimes and incidents, as they believe that police priorities currently lie elsewhere.

Therefore, we are writing to you all today to reaffirm that now, as ever, hate crimes and incidents will not be tolerated. As the APCC and NPCC Leads, we will do all we can to ensure that forces respond proactively to people coming forward to report hate crimes and incidents, and that the victims services that PCCs commission can provide them with the support that they need. We therefore urge you to encourage the individuals and communities that your organisations represent to come forward and report if they have been the victim of a hate crime or incident. Indeed, this will become all the more important going forward as lockdown restrictions are eased, and people from different communities come into regular contact with one another once more.

If there are concerns that you wish to raise with us in relation to hate crime, whether in relation to COVID-19 or otherwise, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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By the Chair of Essex Independent Advisory Group

Neil Woodbridge

ACROSS Essex all the Local Independent Advisory Groups for the police are working really hard at the moment. Keeping a good look out for any issues the Police need to be aware of from their communities and being a critical friend whenever necessary.

I am pleased to say that as the chair of both Thurrock IAG and the Essex wide strategic group, we have been both informed and supportive of the polices current ‘4 E’ Coronavirus strategy .. Engage. Explain. Encourage. Enforce.

However, although there is much good news with the public largely obeying the rules and crime seemingly down, we are always vigilant about Hate Crime.

This is taken very seriously by Essex Police and we particularly wanted to reach out to our friends in any marginal communities to say please do report any issues you are having.

We are concerned to hear that some people who are Chinese or look Chinese to ignorant eyes may have been victims and we would really encourage them to report it. Our friends in the Police will deal with any issues sensitively but together we will not tolerate such crimes in our areas.”

You can report your concerns by; ringing 101, contacting a local Hate Incident Reporting Centre, contacting Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or simply visiting the Essex Police Website and searching ‘Hate Crime’.

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