A city-wide event has been held in Leeds to mark National Hate Crime Week and to promote coordinated efforts to tackle hate crime.
Held on 16 October, the Building Bridges project and disability project HALO organised a conference at the Hamara Centre to call for a collective collaboration to deal with hate crime in Leeds.
According to official numbers, over 740 hate incidents were reported in the city during 2012 to 2013.
Of those, 629 were linked to race, 13 to religion, 78 to sexual orientation, 44 to disability and three affecting gender identity.
Tafazal Mohammad, coordinator of the Building Bridges project, said: “It was a great day for all the agencies present and it allowed us all a platform to share our respective pieces of work on how we deal with hate crime.
“It helped us to kick-start a conversation on how we as a collective can look at hate crime across Leeds. The event had speakers and included the reading of a moving letter from a 10-year-old girl talking about the negativity of fascism and racism.”
Attendees included the Police Hate Crime Coordinator of South Leeds, the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, Stop Hate UK, Victim Support, HALO, Building Bridges, British Red Cross and the Youth Offending Service.
New initiatives aimed at tackling hate crime have been launched across West Yorkshire this week.
The city of Bradford saw the launch of a Youth Scrutiny Panel.
Youngsters aged 15-20 years will work with Police and the Bradford Youth Development Partnership to review hate crimes and ‘Stop and Search’ reports submitted by officers.
They will offer advice to the Police on the way cases are dealt with, what Police did well, what Police could do better and how the district can improve services for victims.
West Yorkshire Police also launched a new online reporting system, aimed at helping encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime incidents to report it to the police.