8-15 October was National Hate Crime Awareness Week and on Monday 10 October, Barnet Council used this platform to launch its own Hate Crime Reporting Centres at an event at Stonegrove Community Centre.  The council are working with partner Barnet Mencap, who organised the event. Staff from Barnet Homes and Your Choice Barnet made sure our organisations were also represented on the day.

Recently, a report from the Home Office said that in July 2016 police recorded a 41 per cent increase in racially and religiously aggravated crimes post Brexit, compared to the same month the year before.

Councillor Graham Old [Finchley Church End ward] confirmed the increase in hate crime within Britain since the Brexit vote and the importance of raising awareness within communities, stressing that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Barnet.

A short film was presented by Stacy Williams (pictured with Your Choice Barnet’s Debra Egan). The film had particular relevance for staff and service users of Your Choice Barnet because the film depicts first-hand accounts of vulnerable adults who have experienced hate crime within the community.

The film explained that hate-crime can come in forms of theft, harassment and even violence. The message of the film revolved around this statement from Ray Booth, Mencap Chief Executive; “When does crime become a hate crime? When that crime becomes targeted at an individual because of whom they are.”

Barnet Mencap’s event brought together the renewed efforts of Barnet Council, Barnet Homes, Your Choice Barnet, the Police and a range of community organisation groups, to stress the importance of reporting hate crime within the borough through their new Hate Crime Reporting Centres.

If you need to know how to report a hate-crime in Barnet, visit their website: https://www.barnet.gov.uk/citizen-home/news/Barnet-Council-joins-forces-to-stop-hate-crime.html