The countdown to the start of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016 #NHCAW has begun, the week runs between the second and third Saturday of October, taking place between the 8th to the 15th October this year.
This is the fifth National Hate Crime Awareness Week to take place in the UK, the first week took place in October 2012 and the concept for the week evolved from the London Vigil against Hate Crime for Ian Baynham organised by Mark Healey in October 2009.
17-24-30 No to Hate Crime Campaign will be working in partnership with Stop Hate UK to promote the week around the United Kingdom. Last year we saw over 200 events take place around the UK including events in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The week encourages local authorities (council and police) to work with their key partners and local communities affected by hate crime to organise local events to highlight local issues.
The week covers all the recognised hate crime strands; Disability, Faith, Gender Identity, Race and Sexuality, as well as hate crime directed at Alternative Sub-cultures recognised after the Sophie Lancaster case.
It is important that we encourage reporting and signpost the victim support services where they exist. It is an opportunity to promote the specialist advice and support that is available around the UK.
This is an opportunity to look at how we are preventing hate crime in our communities and to ensure there are effective systems in place to deal with incidents when they occur.
In London the 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign is developing a London Hate Crime Blog to promote a London-wide hate crime awareness campaign. The blog is currently under construction but aims to be fully functional by May.
We have written an open letter to all the London Mayoral candidates to ask what they will do to tackle hate crime in the capital, how they plan to work with communities affected by hate crime and how they will promote #NHCAW in 2016.
We will be submitting Freedom of Information requests to all London Boroughs Councils to find out what they are doing to tackle hate crime in their areas.