The Bexit scaremongering, lies and immigration/ refugee specific wicked language has certain success in cultivating an atmosphere of racism and harassment, but the overriding public reaction is to confront racism and injustice, solidarity with refugees and quickly challenging the socio-political contradictions.
On the other hand, the recent national anti-hate crime campaign, backed by the government in response to the rise in the incidents, particularly after the EU referendum, and supported by some collusive community organisations enjoying undisclosed anti-hate crime money from the Home Office, has failed to address why ‘hate crimes’.
Keep dealing with the effect without addressing the cause could only be a distorted logic and waste of resources. Focus on the ‘hate crimes’ looks superficial in view of the omission to establish clear link between these crimes and the far-right groups, media and politicians whose inflammatory language and actions inspire hate crimes.
This political anti-hate crime campaign reminds me of a Home Office funded racial harassment committee that I chaired about 25 years ago (that was the time when racial harassment was not watered down as a ‘hate crime’).
In monitoring the racial harassment incidents, it became quite clear that while more incidents were reported, only a few were taken up by the Crown Prosecution Service because of the lack of clear and substantial evidence. These crimes were difficult to prosecute because of the high burden prosecutors face when proving that the defendant’s bias indeed motivated the crime.
Twenty five years on, the hate crime situation is no different where a hate crime reported, like Islamophobia, becomes a ‘number’ to enrich the data base of the thriving ‘anti-hate crime’ industry, leaving behind a very frustrated victim because of no arrests or prosecutions!
It is very concerning that public money is being wasted in superficially dealing with the hate crimes without addressing the cause: for example, no obvious measures to tackle the upsurge of far right, far right media and politicians, significant sources for radicalising far right extremism, resulting in random race/ religion hate crimes.
Not only this, but the government’s anti-hate crime funding is causing friction amongst some community organisations struggling for grants and therefore begging to report the hate crimes to them in order to quantitatively qualify for the government hand-outs.
There is no reason why the victims of hate crime should not report these crimes, like other crimes, directly to the police, cutting down the middleman and saving public money. If the victims are not happy with the police response, they can always approach their elected representatives like their councillor or MP.