Tackling hate crime and extremism matters and supporting communities where this threat is most acute is essential; not only because of the devastating consequences it can have on the victims and their families but because it also divides communities. See the full report LINK http://govknow.com/briefing-detail.html?id=657
Redeeming our Communities (ROC) is dealing with this issue in a number of ways. Many of our ROC projects
are in multi-ethnic areas and people mix together happily at our projects. This promotes tolerance and understanding about each person’s culture and gives a context to express mutual support and friendship.
An example is the ROC Café
youth project in Cobridge, Stoke. Stoke is ranked 16th out of 354 English districts across national indices of multiple deprivation. It is ranked as the 3rd most deprived in the West Midlands out of 34 Local Authority districts.
Cobridge also has a diverse ethnic mix, which is expressed through its vibrant culture, a wide variety of foods outlets, passion and a world wide viewpoint, a community centre at the heart of this community is crucial for the wellbeing of the people living here.
ROC Café Cobridge was launched in April 2011 in partnership with Staffordshire Police, Urban Expression Cobridge, Reveal Theatre Company, Pathways Community Group and NexLevel Youth Training (now disbanded). It is a multi-agency youth drop-in providing diversionary activity for young people. Staffordshire Police Service provided some of the set up funding and the local Inspector has committed to providing at least one member of staff each week at ROC Cafe Cobridge, where possible. This has helped to improve relationships between local young people and the Police.
ROC Café Cobridge provides a safe space for young people aged 11-16 to meet. Each week, alongside the regular games of pool, table football, air hockey, table tennis and Xbox, they offer a craft activity, a tuck shop and a variety of workshop activities.
We are delighted that this project promotes friendship between young people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
was launched in January 2013 and is a form of Restorative Justice (RJ) undertaken by community members in facilitated meetings. The aim is to bring together victims and perpetrators of low level crime, anti-social behaviour and nuisance in a meeting where trained volunteers use restorative or reparative approaches to agree on a course of action for those involved. Providing the perpetrator admits liability and both consent to coming together, a meeting or forum is held to consider the issues relating to the incident. Restorative Justice, the focus is on attempting to address the harm that was caused by the wrongful act. Victims, offenders and the community members can participate together in dealing with the impact of the crime or the hate and develop an appropriate response to it. Hate is perpetrated because of fear and misunderstanding and restorative methods offer an opportunity to engage in a secure dialogue that can eventually lead to healing and restoration. The process of establishing a dialogue also allows the offender to look past the victim as a stereotype to the victim as a human being.
Research shows that when mediation and RJ principles are applied, those involved in this activity demonstrate increased desistance patterns (WAVE research and evaluation of serious group violence.)
Many victims do not want to negotiate legal process but are willing to consider mediation so need innovative thinking, re diversion for lesser offences which can escalate and have ripple effect.
As well as the Restorative Justice training, delivered by our partners Restorative Solutions, we recognised a need to offer our volunteers broader training opportunities as they were potentially facilitating in conferences relating to issues such as hate crime.
Prevent Engagement Officers from GMP / North West Counter Terrorism Unit delivered safeguarding training to our volunteers. The training highlighted the need to volunteers to aware of their surroundings and use a ‘traffic light’ method in terms of evaluating their safety and the need to refer any concerns large or small to the authorities so they can investigate.
"Our training to ROC volunteers and outreach workers was to heighten their awareness of personal safety / safeguarding and to give them the self-assurance to deal with unexpected situations if lone working. ROC and the role their staff carry out is vital to the success of the Restorative Justice and partnership working processes and GMP are pleased to help ensure that their employees are able to work safely and with confidence."
Kim Parkinson Prevent Engagement Officer - GMP / North West Counter Terrorism Unit
We all have a duty of care to work together to combat hate crime and to keep ourselves and our communities safer and kinder.