TOGETHER: Social integration is key


by AMBER RUDD,
Home secretary

I AM PROUD to live in a society that prides it­self on openness, mutual respect and opportu­nity for all.

I am proud to be a member of a party that passionately believes where you end up in life should depend on nothing other than the talent you have and how hard you’re prepared to work.

However, there are sadly some aspects of our society I am not proud of, and these are high­lighted this week in particular during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Hate crime is one of the greatest injustices in our society and there is absolutely no place for it anywhere in the UK. As part of this important week, I have set out action this government is taking to combat hate crime, with over £750,000 going to projects and institutions across England and Wales, to tackle hate crime wherever we find it and to protect places of worship.

This funding will include awards to commu­nity demonstration projects, which work with local communities, including schools to im­prove education on hate crime. This grassroots funding will make a real difference to those who may not feel able to, or even know how to re­port a crime against them.

Sadly, we believe disability hate crime is one of the most under-reported of the five strands of hate crime and a number of these awards will go towards vital projects. Raising awareness of these crimes, both in the groups that may ex­perience them and wider society, will play a key part in eradicating them.

We need to call out such crimes and never al­low those who commit these vile acts to drown out the values that underpin our way of life.

These deplorable crimes are not just taking place on our streets. They have pervaded every aspect of our society including online.

Under the cloak of anonymity these cowardly crimes have in the past gone unchecked. This is why earlier this month we announced that we are funding a new national hub to tackle this threat. The national online hate crime hub is an important step to ensure more victims have the confidence to come forward and report the abuse they are suffering.

Our government is tackling this issue from all angles because when someone commits a crime of this nature they send a message, that to abuse or attack someone based on their background is fine in our society. It is not. We will not stand for it. Following last week’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week each one of us must stand up to bigotry and intolerance wherever we find it.

We are the sum of our parts and an attack on any section of our society is an attack on us all. I, as your home secretary, will continue to do everything in my power to call time on these disgusting crimes.