Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

UK announces major funding to tackle hate crime in latest crackdown on extremism threat

Five UK charities to be awarded almost £350,000 to fight hate crime

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid is taking action to tackle hate crime. AFP
Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid is taking action to tackle hate crime. AFP

The UK is furthering its crackdown on extremism with a massive funding boost to tackle hate crime in communities.

The Home Office announced it will invest £346,000 into projects to combat hate crimes and protect victims.

It comes as the UK government revealed a dramatic rise in far right extremists.

This week it published its white paper on tough new measures to tackle online hate crimes.

Now, this additional funding will be given to five groups through its Hate Crime Community Project Fund to tackle issues in neighbourhoods.

The fund was launched three years ago to help groups fights hate crimes in their areas.

Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams, said the government is committed to fighting intolerance.

“The Government is committed to tackling hate crime in all of its forms,” she said.

“No one should be the subject of verbal or physical abuse simply because of their identity or their beliefs.

“I am delighted to award funding to these innovative projects, so communities can engage local people to ensure intolerance has no place in our society.”

Charity Protection Approaches, which tackles identity-based crimes, has been given the funding to provide training for frontline staff and raise awareness on how to report hate crimes in east London.

It comes as the group’s latest research, published last month, revealed that there had been a growth in negative social trends which it predicts will lead to a rise in hate crime violence if not addressed.

Protection Approaches project manager Andy Fearn said the fund would enable it to create a “pioneering project to breakdown the barriers” preventing communities from reporting crimes.

Children’s charity Barnado’s has been awarded funding to raise awareness of disability hate crime in schools.

Barnado’s project manager Marisa Moon said: “This funding will allow us to help young people understand the impact of disability hate crime, the consequences of identity related bullying, and reduce the number of child victims across secondary school and community settings.”

Other beneficiaries include the East European Resource Centre, which helps victims in Eastern European communities, Nottingham BID, which aims to tackle hate crime in late night venues, and the Proud Trust, which is working with the authorities and rail operators to combat LGBT hate crimes on trains.

The Government launched the fund in 2016, as part of the Hate Crime Action Plan, and committed £900,000 over three years to provide grants for local community organisations to help tackle all forms of the crime.

Last month the Home Secretary Sajid Javid also announced he was doubling the funding to provide more security for places of worship.

He has pledged £1.6m to help reassure communities and safeguard mosques and other places of worship.

It comes after the mosque attack in Christchurch last month which killed 50 people and the life sentence handed to Darren Osborne who drove into a crowd of worshippers near London’s Finsbury Park mosque in 2017.

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Nobody should ever fear persecution of their faith and it’s vital we stand together to reject those who seek to spread hatred and divide us.

“I know many Muslim communities are feeling vulnerable and anxious. But they should seek comfort from knowing we are doing everything to tackle hate and extremism.

“That’s why we are doubling next year’s places of worship fund - providing physical protection as well as peace of mind.”

More than a third of the grants have been awarded to protect mosques.

Updated: April 9, 2019 07:37 PM

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