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Highland Life / News / Northern Constabulary News / ACPOS LAUNCHES MANUAL ON 'DIVISIVE' HATE CRIME


Issued: 29 Sep 2010

A MANUAL of guidance aimed at helping police officers and others to recognise hate crime is being launched by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) – the organisation responsible for setting the strategic vision of a high quality police service for everyone in Scotland .

Hate crime, specifically targeting individuals because of their perceived age, disability, transgender identity, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion or faith or sexual orientation has occurred in its many guises for as long as crime has been recorded.

It can have a lasting impact on individual victims, and crime targeted at an individual’s core identity also has the potential to undermine entire communities and damage community confidence in the police.

Following extensive national consultation throughout the police service, with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and other partner agencies, ACPOS has produced the Hate Crime Guidance Manual, which is intended to be a public document and resource for potential victims, support agencies and any other bodies who have an interest in the subject.

The manual itself defines the subject matter by discussing the nature and relevance of hate crime in a policing context, provides existing definitions, brief summaries of relevant hate crime legislation, outlines best practice in relation to reporting, recording and investigating hate crime and suggests media strategies and partnership working arrangements.

As well as providing operational guidance to the police service in both an operational and strategic setting, it is also hoped that this manual will highlight the importance and raise awareness of hate crime in general.

The basis of the manual and the recording of hate crimes and hate incidents were the result of recommendations in the MacPherson report into the death of the Stephen Lawrence in London .

Chief Constable Ian Latimer, Chair of the ACPOS Equality and Diversity Business Area said: “Hate crime divides our communities and has a devastating effect on victims, their family members and the wider community. The Scottish Police Service recognises the impact this type of crime has on our communities and is committed to tackling it and supporting those who have been a victim. The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) has developed a dedicated manual for officers. The manual, developed in consultation with partner agencies and victim support charities gathers best practice and provides officers with guidance on how recognise and investigate hate crime to secure the desired outcome and results for all parties involved.”

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:"We live in a modern Scotland where there is no excuse for hate crime of any form. It is totally unacceptable and this new ACPOS guidance has my full support. Victims can be assured that their concerns will be taken seriously by Scotland ’s police officers. Those who carry out such crimes should be left in no doubt - they will be met with by the full force of the law.”

Ros Micklem, National Director Scotland for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “The Commission welcomes the Manual and the commitment it demonstrates from ACPOS to continuing to tackle crimes and incidents motivated by malice towards particular groups. Recognition of the corrosive impact of Hate Crime upon individuals and communities is clear in this Manual, as is the determination to continue to work with communities to provide an effective response. We welcome the contribution towards consistency and continuous development which this guidance provides.”

For further information contact:

ACPOS Communications

0141 435 1240

07771 842881

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme