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London-wide Race Hate Crime Forum raises serious concerns about Newham
21 September 2004
Issued on behalf of London-wide Race Hate Crimes Forum by the MPA
The London-wide Race Hate Crime Forum is today meeting with the Chief Executive and Borough Commander of the London borough of Newham to express its concerns about the high rate of racist incidents in the borough.
Peter Herbert, Chair of the Forum and Bennett Obong, Project Manger, met recently with the Chief Executive and Borough Commander to discuss the numbers of race hate crimes in the borough and to establish what the council is doing to respond to the disproportionately high numbers of racist crimes/incidents. The Forum has identified several matters of extreme concern and it has been agreed by the Chief Executive that an action plan will be produced in the next few weeks.
The boroughs own statistics record the following:
- borough housing stock numbers 19,635 homes;
- 145 cases of racial harassment on the housing enforcement caseload over 4 years 2001-2004; and
- only 50% of schools responded to the question of racial harassment.
Of the recorded racial incidences over the period 2001-2004;
- only 2 have resulted in Anti-social Behaviour Orders;
- only 7 have resulted in Anti-social Behaviour Contracts;
- only 3 possession orders alleging racist conduct; and
- 28 emergency transfers requested (8 of these have been granted, only 1 of these where racial harassment has been sited as the reason).
It would appear there are more people being moved out of the area, or at least applying for transfers, than there are perpetrators being dealt with.
The average number of incidences in any given year is approximately 900 but only 2 injunctions have been given over the 4-year period.
Whilst 86% of all residents agreed that the borough was a place where people from different cultures get on well together, 33% of residents believed people were being attacked or targeted because of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religion.
Newham has the 3rd highest rate of repeat victims in London. Canning Town, in the south of the borough, has the lowest number of ethnic population but the highest intensity of racial incidents.
Peter Herbert, MPA member and Chair of the Forum, pictured, said:
“Newham has accepted that they have work to do and expressed a commitment to change. But unless the current trends are reversed the individuals committing these offences appear to be doing so with impunity.
“There is a need to develop a detailed strategy in response to the effects of 9/11 and to establish a more dynamic interface between Education, Social Services and Housing.
“There cannot be any London borough, where racists can racially assault and abuse people without there being a firm recourse to their behaviour. Any prosecution by the police, successful or otherwise, must result in the case file being handed over to the local authority legal department for effective action.
“Perpetrators, whatever their ethnicity, gender or religious persuasion must face the full force of the law and be named and shamed to the local community.”
Notes to editors
- The Race Hate Crimes Forum meeting takes place this afternoon (Tuesday 21 September) from 15:30 at the MPA headquarters, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London, SW1H 0NY.
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