I went to a Workshop about Hate Crime a fortnight ago. This is officially defined as to do with incidents perceived as being motivated by by prejudice and hate. It can be perpetrated as a result of race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender lifestyles or disability. This particular workshop dwelt mostly on disability and featured disturbing case studies, including a number many of us are familiar with such as those of Steven Hoskins and Fiona Pilkington.
The latter case was very much about repeat incidence of anti-social behaviour, the former about exploitation of a vulnerable person. Both were, in hindsight, avoidable if the intelligence available between different agencies and the community had been brought together in an intelligent and coherent way.
It was encouraging to hear individual agencies had now improved processes to detect repeating patterns of calls so that these could be followed up more purposefully. It was also recognised that with joining up this activity in partnership there was more work to do.
Our sector has its part to play, but how to contribute to a partnership effort is less clear at this stage. Perhaps those working with those vulnerable to hate crime should start to consider this, to be ready when consulation begins.