In April 2016 Mark Healey, the founder of 17-24-30 No To Hate Crime Campaign, National Hate Crime Awareness Week and the London Hate Crime Blog launched the UK Hate Crime Network Group on LinkedIn. Join the group here*
Mark was researching hate crime contacts on LinkedIn, the professional social media networking platform. When he typed in the words hate crime to see what came up, 4,872 (2,063 in the UK) results appeared, when he placed hate crime in brackets this figure reduced down to 3,243 (1,754 in the UK) results. When he added the work network it reduced down to only 8 (7 in the UK) results – 8 profiles, 5 of whom linked to the Disability Hate Crime Network on Facebook, and 1 person involved in the National Hate Crime Network administered by Victims Support.
Neither of these Hate Crime Networks was set up on LinkedIn.
In fact there was not a single hate crime network group listed on LinkedIn despite thousands of other groups representing communities affected by hate crime, and a wide variety of other interests across the board.
So setting up the UK Hate Crime Network group on LinkedIn became the obvious first step in addressing this huge gap on LinkedIn.
How many people are members of LinkedIn? How could there be so few references to hate crime when so many people have been involved in hate crime work?
According to Statista LinkedIn currently has over 433 million registered users.
Mark thought this statistic was shocking considering the volume of people that he assumed have had hate crime awareness training over the years. How come none of those people are mentioning this on their profiles? There should be – in theory – thousands of politicians, council officers, police officers, social workers and others who have be trained to recognise and tackle hate crime. Then there is the wider contingent of people who volunteer and work with communities affected by hate crime – why are so few of them acknowledging expertise and knowledge in this area of work?”
So one of the first aims of the UK Hate Crime Network is to start encouraging professionals working in the hate crime sector to start including mention of hate crime in their profiles.
The Metropolitan Police Service for example has trained thousands of police officers how to recognise and address hate crime incidents. There is a training programme within the Met to address Disability Hate Crime with the Disability Hate Crime Matters training being rolled out across the organisation. Many of these officers are on LinkedIn so let’s encourage them to mention this training on their profiles.
Imagine the difference we could make in a short space of time if all these professionals started promoting their hate crime knowledge and expertise.
The next aim of the UK Hate Crime Network is to reach out to all these people and get them to sign up the the group on LinkedIn.
Getting everyone to sign up to the LinkedIn group has the following advantages.
- Raises the profile of hate crime on LinkedIn.
- Enables professionals to network with each other, including local authorities, key partners and communities affected by hate crime.
- Enables us to share hate crime information – news updates, research findings and sector opportunities. Can all be easily shared within the group.
- Enables us to sign post hate crime advice and support services.
- Enables us to promote work and volunteer opportunities.
- Enables us to promote new projects and funding opportunities.
- Provides a cheap and sustainable platform for the sector to keep in touch.
Physical hate crime networks have a tendency to come and and go – especially in the current climate of austerity where funding streams are being cut, as a result when these groups close down those involved often lose contact.
The LinkedIn group offers us the opportunity to stay connected long after these physical organisations have been dissolved.
Sharing information, news updates, research funding and sector opportunities is an important aim of the group.
The UK Hate Crime Network provides a platform to share information. There are two areas within the group to post information; Conversations and Jobs.
The Jobs area will provide a space to post work and volunteering opportunities. Whilst the Conversations area will cover everything else.
At the top of the page is the opportunity to start conversations within the group. Mark has already set up a number of “Conversation threads”. For each conversation thread Mark has created a title block which is uploaded as a picture to illustrate what the conversation thread is about.
For example (below) there is this conversation thread for members to share their Twitter profiles.
Another example (below) a regional conversation thread for organisation within the London Region. Mark has added regional threads covering the 12 main regions within the UK including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as other regions around the world.
Member are invited to post relevant comments to these conversation threads. This provides and excellent opportunity for members to promote work they are doing, links to websites, blogs and other on-line resources.
The group is in the process of developing it’s Terms of Reference. It needs a set of governing rules and procedures to guide members within the group how to use the group and what is and is not appropriate to post within the group.
We also need to consider all the communities affected by hate crime including people with disabilities who may have different access requirements in order to be able to join and benefit from the UK Hate Crime Network.
We plan to guide people to share information in a manner that is more accessible to everyone including those with hearing or visual impairments. We will highlight organisations; Inclusion London and the Disability Hate Crime Network.
Mapping out the Hate Crime Sector is another one of the aims of the group.
In the long term, Mark is hoping to invite representation from across the global hate crime sector to be involved in the UK Hate Crime Network. He has a five year plan to contact as many organisations as possible – inviting them to join the group, and share information about the projects and research they are working on.
Mark is keen to develop a National Hate Crime Events Calendar and a National Hate Crime Google Map to track hate crime awareness events around the UK. He has invited anyone in the sector to forward him details (name of event, event description, location including post code, url links and contact details) so that he can add them to the map.
The annual maps will enable us to evaluate how the sector is doing. At the moment we have no way of assessing how many hate crime awareness events are taking place around the country. Hopefully this will lead to more events being held, increasing hate crime awareness around the UK.
Invitation to comment
The UK Hate Crime Network group on LinkedIn will only be as good as it’s members and their contribution to the development of this group. So we welcome you to give us feedback about this blog post, this group and the subjects that we have set up as conversation threads within the group. Let us know what you think!
* You will need to register as a member of LinkedIn before you can join the UK Hate Crime Network. Sign up to LinkedIn here