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Consequences of hate crime examined

15 November 2016

The Home Affairs Committee holds its first evidence session on hate crime and its violent consequences and calls for further written evidence.


Tuesday 15 November 2016, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 2.45pm

  • Nick Antjoule, Hate Crime Manager, Galop
  • Shane Gorman, Disability Hate Crime Advisor
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability, and Nick Lowles, Director, Hope Not Hate

At 3.30pm

  • Dr Pete Burnap, Director, Social Data Science Lab at Cardiff University
  • Carl Miller, Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos

Chair's statement

Yvette Cooper MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"We have a responsibility to stop this rise of hatred and hate crime.

No one should ever find themselves targeted by violence or hatred because of the colour of their skin, their religion, gender, sexuality or disability.

Yet we are seeing reports of rising hate crime linked to political events like the US Presidential Election or the EU referendum - from the terrible murder of a Polish man in Essex, to assaults on young Muslim women on US university campuses.

The Trump campaign, and the reports of hate crime in the US since the election, should be a warning to all of us about the dangers of whipping up hatred and prejudice.

In a democracy, political disagreement should never provoke violence, hatred or discrimination. Campaigners and political leaders have a responsibility to ensure their rhetoric does not inflame prejudice or become a licence for hate crime.

We are concerned by reports of increasing hate crime in Britain over the last few years, including increasing online threats, harassment and abuse. And we want to examine far right extremism in Britain, and the threat it poses.

We want to look at whether and why hate crimes have increased, at what can be done to prevent and prosecute hate crime. Victims should have the confidence to know that if they report incidents, they will be taken seriously by the criminal justice system. And because this no longer only happens on the streets, the Committee will be assessing how social media companies can use their technological capabilities and resources to respond to a tide of hate. Online and offline hate crime can no longer be seen as separate, they are intrinsically linked and must be tackled together.
Political debate – in this country and around the world – should be strong and robust, but should seek to calm tensions, not inflame them. Free speech is a fundamental right in the UK and it should be afforded to everyone – free from intimidation and abuse."

Islamophobia – oral evidence session and call for written submissions

As part of the inquiry into hate crime, the Home Affairs Committee will be holding an oral evidence session specifically on Islamophobia in the coming weeks.

The Committee would welcome receiving written evidence to inform this session. Submissions should be uploaded through the evidence portal on the inquiry page via the link below, by midday on Friday 2 December 2016.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto