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 9 May 2014

The College of Policing has today published new operational guidance for police officers responding to hate crimes.

The guidance covers law, case studies and the standards that victims and witnesses can expect from officers dealing with this kind of incident. The document replaces the Hate Crime Manual – published in 2005 – and will be incorporated into Authorised Professional Practice (APP) later in the year.

A new national policing hate crime strategy has also been published, which outlines the police service’s commitment to tackling hate crime.

National policing lead hate crime, Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, said:

“The Inquiry report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 highlighted the deep damage caused by such targeted violence and its impact on the public’s fear of crime and community cohesion. While the police service has come a long way in our response to hate crime since then, there is still much work to increase confidence in the police service in the communities we serve.

“This guidance and strategy are a comprehensive guide to helping officers at every level in the service to help us respond positively to those crimes that do occur and reduce under-reporting of hate crime. They recognise the emerging challenges we face, such as internet based offences and improving our response to disability hate crime.”

Dr Nathan Hall, from the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at The University of Portsmouth and member of the Independent Advisory Group for the police service, said:

“The police occupy an important position in protecting victims of hate crime. Victims and broader communities need to have trust and confidence that the police will respond appropriately and effectively to their needs and this further demonstration of their commitment is welcomed. It is also important that many victims and advocates have contributed to the development of this product and I am pleased to see the document published today.

“The policing of hate crime has improved significantly since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry reported in 1999. This is testament to the tireless efforts of Stephen’s family but also to the dedication of many police officers of all ranks across the country. This guidance will help the service build on those improvements further.”