A few months on from the launch of its ‘Stop Hate’ campaign, this week the Safer Merton partnership is confirming its dedication to fighting hate crime by announcing details of a conviction.
The Safer Merton partnership, including the council, the police, victim support and many others work across the borough to reduce crime and disorder. This includes working with criminal justice agencies to bring people to justice.
Since the launch of the full campaign in June this year there has been one conviction for hate crime in the borough.
The perpetrator received a 12-month community order and a nine-month supervision order for a homophobic incident that took place on public transport. The orders require the perpetrator to do 140 hours unpaid work as well as paying £200 compensation to the victim and £85 in court costs.
Conviction is just one way in which the Safer Merton Partnership is tackling hate crime. The Safer Merton Partnership is also working to help victims report crime more easily and has recently joined forces with Stop Hate UK to launch a localised 24-hour reporting phone line for victims of hate crime. Early indications show that this is gaining momentum and supporting individuals on the borough who are experiencing hate crime or abuse.
Councillor Edith Macauley, Merton Council cabinet member for community safety, involvement and equality said:
“Anyone dealing with hate crime needs to know that support is available. Merton’s partnership with Stop Hate UK means that you can now report crimes, no matter how small, at any time of day, in complete confidence.
“This example of a conviction also proves that both the courts system and the Safer Merton partners in the borough are working together to tackle hate crime and this kind of crime will not be tolerated.”
Mark Lawrence, Chief Inspector for Partnership, Merton police added:
‘It is tremendously encouraging that the work of Safer Merton has helped reduce hate crime by over 25% in the last twelve months. However, we must not be complacent. Hate crime will simply not be tolerated in the borough of Merton. We are committed to working with our partners to ensure that offenders are brought to justice and that victims can be confident in reporting crime and are supported when they do.’
If you are suffering or know someone who is dealing with hate crime you can call Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625.