A public meeting designed to tackle hate crime took place yesterday (21 July) and brought the community together to discuss the recent incidents of hate crime in a post-Brexit world and discuss how Brent can eradicate hate crime altogether.
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of a hostility or prejudice. This could be related, but is not limited, to that person's:
- race or ethnicity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- gender identity
The public meeting saw a number of high-profile speakers in attendance, including Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy - Centre for Hate Studies and Dr Colin Roberts - Director of the Universities' Police Science Institute. Topics such as what exactly a hate crime is, how big the problem is in Brent and the role of social media in the context of hate crime, were all discussed.
Representatives from the Metropolitan Police, Brent Youth Parliament and Brent Multi-Faith Forum were also in attendance to discuss the impact hate crime has had on the community and how they are working to tackle it. Important practical workshops were then held for attendees to reflect on the speakers' words, design solutions to scenarios and to discuss how they feel hate crime could be better tackled in the Borough.
The event was part of the Council's wider 'It's Time to Talk' campaign which aims to empower residents and community leaders to talk about difficult issues and work together with the authorities to tackle them. Important challenges such as child sexual exploitation, extremism, gang culture, domestic abuse & harmful practices are all expected to be discussed at separate events throughout the year.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Muhammed Butt, said:
"We are always stronger when we are united and pull together to address the issues that we all face. Unfortunately, hate crime is one of those issues.
"But what I'm really pleased about is how successful this event was in bringing people of all backgrounds together to discuss solutions to this problem.
"We are proud to call Brent home because, although we are a borough of so many communities, we ultimately stand together as one. We care for each other and will stand up for each other. That is why I am very clear on the fact that hate crime is not tolerated in Brent."