Community and living, Community Safety, Cooperative Council

Volunteers to bolster hate crime victim support

Community-spirited volunteers who are willing to give up a few hours a week to support victims of hate crime are being recruited by Lambeth Council.

We are building a team of ‘Champions’ against hate crime to help reduce criminal offences such as racism, islamaphobia, homophobia, and disability hate crimes in Lambeth. Hate Crime Champions will raise awareness of the network of support services open to victims as well as voluntary, community, and disability groups available across the borough.

The Lambeth champions will work in partnership with the council’s dedicated Hate Crime Coordinator. The work is varied and will see volunteers carry out community engagement and outreach work, as well coordinate hate crime awareness sessions at community groups, and attend local events. They will also work towards identifying, supporting and safeguarding vulnerable victims of hate crime, in line with the Council’s overall approach to protecting and safeguarding its residents.

Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Rachel Heywood, said
“Victims of hate crime do not need to suffer in silence. I want to raise the profile of hate crime generally so that all sections of Lambeth’s communities know this is unacceptable. We are working with the police to send out a clear message that hate crime is taken seriously in Lambeth and will not be tolerated in any shape or form.”

She added: “We believe hate crime is under reported across London as a whole because people are unsure of the reporting methods and we are believe this network of reporting centres will go some way to tackle the problem in Lambeth.”

The Safer Lambeth Partnership, which is made up of the council, police, and partner agencies, has identified Brixton Town Centre, Streatham High Road, and Clapham High Street as the main areas where hate crime has traditionally been problematic. The partnership believes hate crime remains under reported in Lambeth despite police figures which indicate a rise nationally.

There were a total of 350 reported incidents of hate crime in Lambeth from April 1, to November 30, 2010. These included racism (215), homophobia (104), faith related (16), Islamaphobia (13), and Transgender (2). This is compared to 383 reported incidents of hate crime from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, and 368 from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009.

The selection process to become a hate crime champion includes an application form, CRB check, informal discussion, interviews, and trial period. For more information on how to apply contact the council’s hate crime coordinator, Yvonne Okiyo, on 020 7926 2796

To report hate crime can send an email or contact Yvonne directly yokiyo@lambeth.gov.uk or 020 7926 2796
You can report hate crime online by using our hate crime reporting eform at http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/SaferLambeth/HateCrime/HateCrimeReportingForms.htm.

You can also report hate crime by printing off one an online form and completing it by hand. If you do not have access to a printer, call us on 0207 926 2796 to ask us to send you a copy of the form you need. Completed forms need to be sent to:

Yvonne Okiyo
Hate Crime Coordinator
Community Safety Division
205 Stockwell Road
SW9 9SL.

The forms are also available in other languages namely Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Somali, Arabic, Tigrinya and Pashto. Call us if you want to obtain a copy of the forms in any of these languages.



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