In January 2018, North Yorkshire Police pledged to tackle hate crime among young people, one of the priorities of a new Children and Young People strategy.
The strategy was developed on the back of recommendations made by the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, as well as the opinions of more than 1500 young people who took part in the Youth Commission’s first “Big Conversation” – a piece of peer research into issues that affect children and young people across the county.
In addition to hate crime the other key issues addressed in the strategy include: young people’s relationship with the police, online safety, how the police deal with young people with mental health problems, abusive relationships, drug and alcohol issues, and missing young people and exploitation.
In relation to hate crime the Youth Commission findings highlighted that young people in North Yorkshire:
- Think that hate crime seems to be increasing
- Believe that verbal abuse and negative use of social media exacerbates the problems
- Are concerned about hate crime based on sexuality, race and religion
- Can lack confidence to approach police with issues
- Think that more needs to be done to address hate crime
Since January 2018, there have been 67 hate crimes involving victims under 18 in North Yorkshire. Of these, hate crimes motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry constituted the largest share of hate crimes comprising 65.6% of the crimes reported. Meanwhile, 10.45% were related to the young person’s sexual orientation and 7.46% were driven by their disability. The remainder of the hate crimes were motivated by the young person’s religion (5.97%), transgender identity (5.97) or other (4.48%).
Overall in 2018 there were 20 hate crimes involving young people who offend with 15% of these being racist incidents.
Since the launch of the strategy in January 2018, in addition to the close work being carried in partnership with the North Yorkshire Youth Commission and the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), the force has:
- Introduced a session at Crucial Crew sessions, delivered by Barnardo’s Prouder Communities, to raise awareness around LGBT+ with young people. So far 60 primary schools and 1,500 primary year 6 students have attended.
- Delivered enhanced hate crime training and resources for North Yorkshire Police officers and staff around identifying, supporting and signposting young people around their mental health and well-being which can be attributed by instances of bullying associated with ‘prejudices’ amongst young people. More training is planned in 2019.
- Together with the PFCC, supported independent reporting for victims through Supporting Victims service and True Vision. Independent reporting was a key recommendation from the 2015-16 Big Conversation.
- The PFCC has also commissioned a range of support services, including Independent Victim Advisers, Counselling and Restorative Justice services for all victims of Hate Crime.
As the strategy progresses into its second year the force is seeking to:
- Develop a hate crime and prejudice based intervention and educational programme to be rolled out as a pilot in January 2019 to secondary schools and youth groups across North Yorkshire involving North Yorkshire Youth, North Yorkshire Police Youth Officers, local policing teams and Community Safety Hubs.
Commenting Inspector Ed Rogerson, the force’s Youth Engagement Lead said:
“Hate crime and prejudices can ruin a young person’s life. Victims may be bullied, singled out, excluded or treated badly just because they are different. This can lead to a young person feeling isolated, scared and vulnerable.
“The launch of the Children and Young People strategy at the beginning of 2018 has enabled us to look at ways we can improve based on their views and experiences.
“We want young people in North Yorkshire to know that we do not tolerate this – we are their police force, we are there for them, and we take their concerns as seriously.
The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, set up the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, and is instrumental in making sure it has a powerful voice within the police service said:
“It is vital we give young people of voice, and I am very proud of the work the Youth Commission have done in raising awareness of Hate Crime amongst younger people. Arguably more important still is that their voice is listened to, and something changes as a result. I am therefore pleased to see the progress North Yorkshire Police have made in both engaging with young people about this topic, including new training.
“I have also invested in this part of policing and victim support, with a new independent reporting line, as well as support services for victims of Hate Crime who need additional help.
“Hate Crime can be devastating, with the impact long-lasting. I will continue to work with the Youth Commission, Chief Constable and others to stamp this crime out wherever possible, and provide the best support we can to those who need it. If anyone has been a victim, please be reassured the police or our independent reporting phone line will provide a safe, supportive place for you to talk about the crime and get any help you might need.”
North Yorkshire Youth Commission member, Simon Hoyle said:
“It’s really important that we work to abolish unneeded discrimination so young people don’t feel defined by stereotypes.
“Hate Crimes can be used to gain power or control over a victim and long term discrimination can have lasting effects on a young person’s mental health, leading to depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.
“We need to ask how young people develop these attitudes in the first place, educate people and spread awareness of the impact. It’s a problem through the generations.
“The Youth Commission are working in partnership with and North Yorkshire Police and the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to deliver workshops to young people to educate people on the issues and the law – we are asking young people to look after each other and keep each other safe.”
More information about the strategy can be found here: northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/content/uploads/2018/08/NYYC-Final-Report-2018.pdf and the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, including how to join, is available on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s website here: northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/for-you/young-people/youth/
Where to get help
If you are a young person and the victim of hate crime you can contact the police in a non-emergency by dialing 101. In an emergency always dial 999. If you do not wish to speak to the police the following support organisations can help you:
- Supporting Victims – for anyone who needs help to cope with being a victim of crime. Tel: 01609 643 100 | Visit supportingvictims.org/support-services/young-people
- Childline – a free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people aged up to their 19th birthday. It is run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. You can speak to Childline confidentially about anything that is worrying you. Tel: 0800 1111 | Visit: childline.org.uk
- Runaway Helpline – a confidential service for people who are thinking of running away from home. Tel: 116 000 | Visit: runawayhelpline.org.uk
For more information visit northyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime
Last modified: December 19, 2018