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London-wide Race Hate Crime Forum House Of Commons launch
13 May 2003
Issued on behalf of London-wide Race Hate Crimes Forum by the MPA
The MPA London-wide Race Hate Crimes Forum will be launched today (Tuesday 13 May 2003) at the House of Commons Members’ Dining Room at 4.00pm.
The aim of the forum is to achieve substantial improvements in the services provided to victims of race hate crimes and a reduction in racially motivated crimes in the capital.
The MPA has brought together statutory, voluntary and criminal justice organisations that have a key role in this field and representatives from over thirty organisations have been involved in developing the forum’s terms of operation. MPA member Peter Herbert is Chair of the Forum and Henry Velleman, Victim Support London, is Deputy Chair.
Peter Herbert, chair of the Race Hate Crime Forum, said:
“The establishment of the Race Hate Crime Forum is a landmark event in the capital and the first of its kind in Europe. Ten years after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the forum will help establish a uniform approach across the Criminal Justice system, statutory agencies and voluntary agencies when dealing with race hate crimes.
“It is still the case that race hate crime is one of the most evil and insidious forms of discrimination, which needs to be combated with all the resources available to Londoners.”
Victim Support London's Chief Executive, Anne Coughlan said:
“This forum reflects a commitment, from both statutory and voluntary agencies, to work together to provide a coherent service where black and minority ethnic victims of crime are placed at the heart of the system. It is vital that statutory and voluntary agencies offer this joined up approach to make further steps toward the recommendations of the Macpherson Report.”
The Macpherson Report recommended that the Home Office, police services, local government and other agencies create a comprehensive system for reporting and recording all racial incidents and crimes. In July 2001 the London Race Hate Crimes Working Group was set up under the chairmanship of Peter Herbert of the MPA. The working group drew its membership from a wide range of agencies with responsibilities for progressing policies and influencing practices on race and other hate crimes in London.
The forum launched today has evolved from the significant work already developed by the working group and will co-ordinate the key agencies as they work together to achieve practical and positive outcomes.
Notes to editors
1. Roger Casale, MP for Wimbledon, is sponsoring the launch.
2. Membership of the London working group on Race Hate Crimes includes:
Victim Support (Deputy Chair of the Forum is Henry Velleman of Victim Support), NACRO, Prison Service, Probation Service, Race on the Agenda, Association of London Government, Southwark Racial Harassment Unit, Lewisham Racial Harassment Unit, Private Sector Housing Unit, UGIMA, Circle 33, Society of Black Lawyers, CPS, Hammersmith and Fulham Borough, Greater London Magistrates Court authority, GLA, The Stone Ashtown Trust, National Black Crown Prosecution association, MPS, GoL, CRE, Chartered Institute for Housing, Home Office, Refugee Housing Association, Department for Education and Skills, Teachers’ Unit section.
3. Full details of the Race Hate Crimes working group can be found on the Equal Opportunities and Diversity Board paper 1 May 2003 at www.mpa.gov.uk/committees/x-eodb/2003/030501/15.htm
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