This week in Full Council I was asked about Hate Crime in Brent. This was my answer…
Hate Crime is utterly abhorrent. It has no place in this world – and least of all in Brent.
I’m grateful to Cllr Shaw for the opportunity to state in the clearest possible terms that all communities are welcome in Brent and that we will not tolerate Hate Crime in our Borough.
I would like to go further and to thank all of our communities for making Brent such a diverse and such a harmonious place.
Brent Council was already working hard to prevent the rise of Hate Crime and we have doubled our efforts in recent weeks.
We are working very closely with the Police and are actively encouraging all victims of Hate Crime to report it to the Police. We have also briefed all our contractors to record incidents of Hate Crime.
In response to recent events, this month we will be undertaking a big push on raising awareness of the unacceptability of Hate Crime.
We will host a dedicated Hate Crime conference in the Civic Centre on 21st July and will build up to this with a media and social media campaign. Each Brent Connects Forum will receive a report on Hate Crime and there will be an extensive leafleting campaign.
We are also hopeful of securing Home Office funding for a dedicated Hate Crime prevention officer.
It is important to emphasise that Hate Crime is comparatively low in Brent.
Typically Hate Crime in Brent is concentrated on Wembley Stadium match days and involves white male football fans from outside the Borough abusing black officials.
Hate Crime based on Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia or hatred based on disability is much rarer.
We are absolutely determined to ensure that this remains the case.
In these extremely difficult times we will not allow our diverse communities to become scapegoats. Not only will we not tolerate Hate Crime in Brent, we will work to make Brent a shining beacon of diversity and tolerance.