Friday, April 19, 2024

NSW Police to target hate crimes

The NSW Police Force has launched a new campaign to raise awareness and help prevent hate crimes across the state.

Developed by the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command’s Engagement and Hate Crime Unit in consultation with community groups, the campaign aims to educate and encourage reporting of hate-motivated crimes and incidents.

The education package includes a series of animated videos which define hate crimes and hate incidents and provide simple advice to the community about reporting options as a victim or witness, as well as print materials for display in police stations, government and council offices, local businesses and other community areas.

With the assistance of Multicultural NSW, the posters, cards, and pamphlets are also available in five languages other than English: Arabic, Hindi, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese.

The materials will also be posted across the NSW Police Force’s social media accounts.

The launch of the campaign comes after almost two years of community, stakeholder, academic and expert consultation and collaboration; extensive research, a redevelopment of the Hate Crime Guidelines and the Hate Crime Policy Statement, and the delivery of new training packages for all NSW Police Force staff.

NSW Police Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said hate crimes have a broader community effect than most other types of crime.

“The impact of a hate crimes and incidents are usually felt beyond just the immediate target – more often than not, it will extend to families, friends, and throughout communities,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

“We know there is a significant disparity between the number of hate crimes that occur and the number reported to police, with research telling us that less than 25% of victims come forward.

“It is important for the community to report hate crimes and incidents, not only so victims can be supported and provided assistance, but also so there’s a clearer picture of what’s happening in our state, and importantly, prevent future crimes and disrupt escalating behaviours.

“This campaign is aimed at educating the community as to what constitutes a hate crime and how it differs to a hate incident and raises awareness of how to report either type to authorities.

“NSW is a diverse collection of communities, and we all need to make it clear that we do not tolerate or accept crimes or incidents based on bias or hate.”

A hate crime is a criminal offence motivated against persons, associates of persons, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s hate against an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived; race, religion, ethnic/national origin, sex/gender, gender identity, age, disability status, sexual orientation or homeless status.

A hate incident is an incident committed against persons, associates of persons, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s hate against an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived; race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, gender identity, age, disability status, sexual orientation or homeless status but does not constitute a criminal offence.

More information about the NSW Police Force response to hate crimes and incidents can be found online: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/hate_crimes.

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