An updated action plan has been launched in the UK to tackle hate crime as the country comes together during Hate Crime Awareness Week.
The new package of measures includes a wide-ranging law commission review into hate crime and a nationwide public communications campaign to tackle intolerance, said UK Home Office in a statement on Tuesday (16).
Over £1.5million of new funding plan has been made to support educational programmes working to eradicate prejudice. A further 45 places of worship will receive nearly £800,000 for security improvements through the ‘places of worship’ scheme, which has also been extended for an extra year.
A comprehensive review of hate crime legislation, extra funding to support communities, improving the response to incidents and raising awareness about hate crime are among a package of new measures to tackle hate crime.
It also include a wide-ranging law commission review into hate crime to explore how to make current legislation more effective and consider if there should be additional protected characteristics such as misogyny and age.
A new nationwide public awareness campaign to launch later this autumn designed to educate on what hate crime is.
The government is also extending the home office places of worship scheme for a further year to support more religious institutions which are vulnerable to hate attacks.
The new measures also include improving police response by offering call handlers specialist training on how to support hate crime victims and revamping the true vision reporting website.
The refresh has been designed to address specific concerns across all five monitored strands of hate crimes: race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability.
Home secretary Sajid Javid said, “hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect – and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out.”
“Our refreshed action plan sets out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of the law,” he added.
As well as extending the ‘places of worship’ scheme from three to four years, the Home Office confirmed that 45 places of worship have been awarded nearly £800,000 in the latest round of funding through the scheme.
This year, grants have been awarded to nine churches, 22 mosques, two Hindu temples and 12 Sikh gurdwaras. Since the scheme launched in 2016, 89 grants worth over £760,000 have been allocated to places of worship across England and Wales.
According to the new initiatives taken, the Crown Prosecution Service will update its hate crime resource pack for schools to help teachers engage and equip pupils on issues of hostility and intolerance.
The Office for Students will provide over £480,000 of funding for 11 new projects to tackle religion-based hate crime and harassment, as part of its student safeguarding scheme.