Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service joins forces with the 'Shropshire Partnership' to support their 'Hate Crime' Campaign
What is hate crime?
'Hate crime' is defined as any criminal offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their:
- race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins
- gender or gender identity
- sexual orientation
Such crimes can take many forms including; physical attacks, bullying at school or in the workplace, offensive graffiti, abusive letters and telephone calls, and of courses arson.
Nationally, the police recorded 50,000 racially or religiously motivated hate crimes last year. The British Crime Survey, which is based on interviews with a wide sample of people and picks up crimes that are not reported to police, indicated that there were 260,000 such offences last year.
How does that affect the Fire and Rescue Service?
Many of the deliberate fires we attend are motivated by hate. For example, following the bombings in London in July 2005 a Mosque in Wellington was fire bombed. Clearly this put at risk life and property and such actions are deplorable. Similarly the emergency services often receive malicious false fire calls which cause us to dispatch fire engines to the homes of people who do not require our help.
On the face of it this may seem relatively harmless, but in doing so, not only does this cause great distress to the victims, it also takes essential life saving fire appliances away from responding to real fires.
In effect, the perpetrators are putting all our lives at risk and more to the point; They Don't Care!
What is Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service doing about 'Hate crime'?
- We will run media campaigns, and offer guidance to the public where they have concerns about the risk of arson and other hate related crime
- We are working with West Mercia Police to ensure a coordinated approach to this issue and sharing of resources
- Our crews are already working with the 'Victim Support' group fitting door chains to the homes of vulnerable people in Bishops Castle. We will examine the success of this project and evaluate the potential of widening the campaign
- We will add hate crime issues to the agenda of issues we discuss with children and young people we engage with and in particular during our annual community Safety School Quiz.
- We will ensure that we record and analyse hate motivated fire crime so that we can more effectively focus our activities and work with partners to tackle this problem
Leading firefighter Rob Cartwright and firefighter Russ D'Arcy distribute leaflets on hate crime to students at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College with Hate Crime – We Won’t Tolerate It on Shrewsbury fire appliances
On the 15th November 2006 SFRS demonstrated its support for the Shropshire Partnership campaign by having Fire Crews present in a number of the County's towns, and villages. We handed out free literature which included details of how the communities can make a difference in both preventing this, and how to seek help if you are a victim of such crime.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is proud of its long standing commitment to ensuring a fair and tolerant society. We are delighted to be able to contribute to this excellent initiative of the Shropshire Partnership.
- Crime against the person - Shropshire Council
- Hate Crime and Harassment - Telford & Wrekin,
Safer & Stronger Communities Partnership
- Telford Race, Equality and Diversity Partnership (TREDP)