A new Island-wide campaign aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of hate crime has been launched by the States of Jersey Police (SoJP).
The campaign runs from 10 - 28 June and has been developed in conjunction with community groups and features Jersey victims and community leaders talking about their experiences of hate crime in the Island, and how either they, or the victims they represent, have been impacted.
Hate crime can be defined as acts of violence and hostility directed at a group or individual because of who they are, or who someone thinks they are, based on their race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
The true extent of hate crime in Jersey is not fully understood because it is believed to be significantly under-reported. SoJP are seeking to reassure the public that they take hate crime very seriously and are encouraging people to come forward and report.
Incidents can have a significant impact on the victim and their community group, including anxiety, depression and fear to leave the house.
SoJP currently use a range of existing laws to prosecute perpetrators of hate crime. The intention is for this to be greatly enhanced with specific legislation being put out for public consultation later this year.
SoJP have also developed a hate crime policy, which places an increased emphasis on all crimes reported, ensuring that dedicated supervisory oversight is immediately provided and that prosecution of any hate crime is fast-tracked.
Acting Inspector Manny De Freitas from States of Jersey Police, commented: “In launching this campaign, we want to encourage victims in Jersey to come forward to report incidents of hate crime. Only by reporting it, and perpetrators being brought to justice, can we stop it from occurring.”
Chairman of the Community Advisory Group, Jim Hopley, added: "The occurrence of hate crime in all its manifestations, including via social media, is something we should be aware of. When suffered or witnessed we can, and should, do something about it in the certain knowledge that wherever possible action will be taken to stamp this insidious crime out.
“This campaign, fully supported by the Community Advisory Group, invites us all to recognise hate crime and to play our part working in partnership with the Police to stand against it."
As part of the campaign, SoJP have partnered with Stop Hate UK. Victims, witnesses and third parties can call their confidential and independent 24 hour helpline for support and guidance. Prison Me No Way will also be delivering a range of lessons in all secondary schools and Highlands College on hate crime in June and October this year.
For those with visual impairments, you can download our campaign accessibility stills below.
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