A newly extended hate crime and discrimination collaborative service for Bristol will be officially launched with a packed programme on November 30th. This also is a fitting end to Islamophobia Awareness Month 2017 (#IAM17)
The new collaborative service, funded by Bristol City Council will be delivered by a group of expert agencies working in collaboration. It is more comprehensive than the previous Bristol Hate Crime Services. As well as being for victims of any type of hate crime including racist, faith-based, disablist, homophobic, transphobic, age-based or gender based – it now brings in discrimination legal advocacy, restorative approaches, mediation and conflict resolution services for dealing with hate and discrimination.
Mayor Marvin Rees states: “Bristol won’t accept hate crime. While we cannot guarantee its elimination, we can guarantee we will do everything in our power to keep people safe, support survivors and take on perpetrators. I welcome this new service as a practical commitment to that. A coordinated response between Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services, health, the council the police is essential. I hope the people of Bristol will be proud of what this says about who we are and stand for as a city”.
Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I have made protecting the most vulnerable from harm, which includes tackling hate crime and supporting victims who experience it, the number one priority in my Police and Crime Plan. Hate crime destroys lives, instils fear and rocks communities and will not be tolerated in Bristol or the wider communities of Avon and Somerset. We are fortunate to have such incredible support services working together to help victims of this terrible crime. Only by working together can we end hate crime.”
The collaboration of agencies is led by SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality) with local providers: Brandon Trust; Bristol Mind; LGBT Bristol; Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Bristol Mediation. To be known as BHC&DS (Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services), this partnership of charities all champion the rights for communities in Bristol who have been disproportionately targeted by hate crime, discrimination and conflict due to the group they belong to.
The launch event will include presentations by the Mayor Marvin Rees; Bristol District Policing Commander Superintendent Andy Bennett (including a video message from Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens), the CPS Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Victoria Long, performances by our Bristol Poet Laureate Miles Chambers, Stonewall’s Shon Faye (also a Poet and writer), St Paul’s Carnival CIC Bristol’s Got Talent young winners, performance by Brandon Trust actors, film, music, service user stories and more. There will also be a stage interview about the challenges posed by Islamophobia with Zaheer Shabir, Chair of our local Prevent Board, Building the Bridge and committee member of Totterdown’s Jamia Mosque and IAG Chair Amjid Ali. This will conclude Islamophobia Awareness Month 2017. There will be an opportunity to visit stalls, network and learn about the new collaboration too.
Alex Raikes MBE Strategic Director of Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) stated: “As a long standing, award winning charity renowned for tackling hate crime, racism and inequality, SARI is so pleased and privileged to have the opportunity to deliver hate crime services for another 4 years and to be leading other human rights focused agencies, each with a real specialism in their area so they too can help us provide hate crime and discrimination services which meet the diverse needs of those who face such appalling attacks. We are also excited to have our two new partners on board offering discrimination legal advocacy and restorative solutions to this destructive form of abuse”.
The new collaboration began taking referrals and opening cases in July 2017 and opened 121 new cases – 86 Racist; 21 Disabilist; 7 Homophobic; 4 Faith-based and 3 Transphobic cases in the first 4 months.
Posted on Tuesday 28th November 2017