What is an Independent Advisory Group? (IAG)
One of key principles of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry was that agencies needed to ensure that the voice of victims is heard as decisions are made. Police and partners should be transparent in their decisions and the levels of service they offer.
Independent Advisory Groups are the way police formalise this advice, it is a self-selecting group that appoints its own chair and deputy. It is made up of victims, academics, advocacies and other experts and acts as a critical partner, having a seat on strategic and operational groups. The group is represented on Strategic and operational boards and scrutinises police performance. They are seen by police managers as a critical friend.
The National Hate Crime IAG
The current National Hate Crime IAG came together in 2007 to advise the government's hate crime programme and has formally advised the National Policing Lead since this time. It recently ended its formal relationship with government but continues to advise on national policing policy and responses.
The Terms of Reference are published below but the group is self-selecting and not appointed by the police. The carry out periodic reviews of membership in order to meet the changing nature of hate crime.
Mike Ainsworth, the current chair of the IAG summarises their role;
Whether from experience working to support Hate Crime victims, or direct personal experiences, the IAG is aware of the corrosive impact of Hate Crime on individuals, families and communities. We are committed to ensuring that the Police and the Police and Crime Commissioners work effectively to reduce the incidence of Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents and provide effective support for victims.
We are committed to the principles of effective working laid out in the Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence and we want to ensure that lessons are learned tragedy’s like Stephen’s and to amplify the voices of all victims of intolerance and discrimination.
The group works to ensure that no hierarchy of Hate exists and recognises everyone’s right to feel safe in society.
The IAG is grateful to hear the views of anyone with experience of hate crime. They are not able to intervene in individual cases but are keen to hear general views of how the police and partners respond to hate crime.
Communicating with the IAG
You can send an email to the group here but please do not send urgent matters as it is not constantly monitored and please not that this goes into a police email system which is then forwarded by officers to the IAG chair. If you want to communicate without police awareness you can ask to be contacted by the IAG directly.