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Hate crime

Is criminalisation the most effective way to reduce hate crime and respond to the harm it causes?

The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 shocked the nation. He was targeted because he was Black. In the aftermath of his murder, campaigners called for a recognition in law of crime motivated by hate. This led to the development of racially and religiously aggravated offences and increased penalties for those whose crimes were motivated by hatred of disabled people and members of the LBGTQ+ community.

From 2021 to 2022 more than 13,000 people were prosecuted for hate crime but it is estimated that there are four times more incidents of hate crime than are reported to police. So how do we prevent and deal with incidents fuelled by hate and insensitivity? Transform Justice is researching this area. Evidence suggests victims need the harm done to them addressed but that many are not set on court outcomes. We want to explore why victims don’t report hate crime, who commits it and what works to prevent and deal with hate crime.