18 October 2019

Have your say on proposed changes to hate crime guidance

Police officers, staff and the public are being asked to give their views on proposed updates to national guidance to help forces investigate hate crime and keep vulnerable people safe.

The College of Policing has launched a public consultation to people have the opportunity to express their views on a number of suggested changes to its 2014 Operational Hate Crime Guidance.

The proposed updates include several sections which have been changed to address recommendations made in a 2018 Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which looked at the initial police response to reports of hate crime.

HMICFRS's report expressed concerns that the risks associated with some vulnerable victims of hate crime were not being assessed or managed appropriately and consistently by forces. The report also recommended that police forces routinely worked with partner organisations to manage risks to victims.

The suggested changes to the College of Policing guidance include:

  • Standards of response and performance: Clarifies that hate crime should receive a priority response from forces and should have appropriate oversight and supervision. It emphasises the importance of leadership and performance management.   

  • Flagging hate crime offences and cyber-enabled crime: The new guidance stresses the need for appropriate flagging of both hate and cyber-enabled crime.

  • Non-crime hate incidents: Clarifies the advice to police officers and staff when responding to non-crime hate incidents to balance the police response and the rights and freedoms of individuals under the Human Rights Act.

Jo Taylor, Policing Standards Manager for Investigations, said: "Any hate crime is serious offence which can have a significant impact on the individual involved, particularly increasing their sense of vulnerability.

"As our existing guidance is more than five years old it is vital it is updated to take into account the latest information so officers and staff have the knowledge and skills needed to effectively investigate hate crime offences and keep the public safe.

"The College of Policing is also carrying out a wider review of the existing evidence base to develop practice guidelines for recognising and responding to vulnerability related risks, including hate crime."

The College of Policing is now inviting feedback on the guidance from the public, police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners and other organisations.

The consultation is open until Tuesday, 5 November 2019. Anyone who would like to submit any comments or views can do so using the feedback template, which can be returned by email to Hate_crime_guidance.consultation@college.pnn.police.uk.

You can read further details on the hate crime consultation on the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice website.


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