Westminster MP’s have used safer internet day as an opportunity to highlight an innovative online tool for reporting hate crime.
Hate crimes and incidents come in many different forms. It can be because of hatred on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Sadly there is an increasing problem of hate crime being perpetrated via the internet. True Vision is an online reporting portal for hate crime. The website at www.report-it.org.uk has already had some 56,000 visitors and offers information to victims, downloadable resources and the ability to report crimes online. To date over 1,300 reports have been made to the site with just over 300 of these relating to Internet offences.
The website www.report-it.org.uk has had no direct marketing and relies on links to existing websites and on search engines. The online reporting facility has been developed so that hate crimes can be reported online where victims don’t wish to go directly to the police. Crimes can be reported by ‘third-party’ organisations too, the Community Security Trust (CST) are one such organisation in the Jewish community, who are offering to help other communities to follow their example.
Safer Internet Day is marked each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world. To mark the occasion, the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism hosted the launch of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) scheme.
John Mann MP said:
"True Vision represents an important step in the fight against hate crime. I was pleased to lend my support to the project and encourage any constituents who are victims of a hate crime, wherever it occurs to visit www.report-it.org.uk."
Superintendent Paul Giannasi, Manager of the True Vision programme said:
"We are delighted that MP’s are supporting the True Vision project. It is vitally important that constituents are made aware that victims have a range of reporting options. Be it online or in person, we will not tolerate hate crime.”