In advance of our AGM on Saturday 27th October 2018, SPECTRUM is pleased to publish our 2018 Annual Report
In advance of our AGM on Saturday 27th October 2018, SPECTRUM is pleased to publish our 2018 Annual Report
By Sam Waddington
We can’t believe just how successful our campaign has been so far:
This week we at SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living CIC have been leading Southampton’s ‘Love Don’t Hate’ campaign to help tackle the problems surrounding hate crime, in the city and hopefully other parts of the country too.
To coincide with National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018, from the 13th to the 20th of October, we have launched a network of 29 local organisations, to raise awareness of the severe impact hate crimes are having on individuals and their communities and encouraging more people to report incidents.
Hate Crimes are prejudicial verbal / physical attacks or threats based purely on someone being a Disabled Person, their race, religion, sexual or transgender identity.
The city had 600 cases of reported hate crime incidents in 2016-17, the second highest rate of hate crime out of any city in the United Kingdom and a 30% rise from the previous year.
With Southampton being such a diverse, multicultural place, with a mixture of individuals from 55 different countries these statistics are a concern and need to change.
The fact that so many incidents are taking place is the reason why we have decided to bring together a number of community groups in the city, that deal with all types of people in society irrespective of aspects like their race, sexual orientation or religion.
Launch of the ‘Love Don’t Hate’ campaign outside the SPECTRUM CIL offices in Southampton
Rather than each community group dealing with hate crimes against a particular group of people, developing a campaign with all aspects of society involved, including statutory organisations like the Police and Council, we believe will have a bigger impact in preventing hate crime.
Getting the public talking about the campaign and realising that hate crimes are taking place more frequently than they think should enforce the message that what’s happening is unacceptable.
If more of the public understand that then hopefully it will change the mindsets of certain individuals and make them more tolerant to people who are different to them.
The end goal is to be one of the groups that helps change the societal norms, so our differences are seen in a positive light rather than as something negative.
With the presence the ‘Love Don’t Hate’ campaign has had in the local media this week we believe a good job has been done in reaching out to the public.
Case study pieces in the Daily Echo (see below), on those who have been directly targeted based on their identity, will have probably attracted the attention of those who knew of the word hate crime but not what it actually means for individuals.
‘Disabled shopper’s hate crime ordeal’ published in the Daily Echo on Tuesday the 16th of October
The fact we had stories about hate crime incidents on BBC Radio Solent and our chief executive, Ian Loynes, speaking on the Julian Clegg Breakfast show during the week about the campaign was also positive publicity for the campaign.
Hopefully people in the area getting ready for or on their way to work might have stopped for a few minutes to think about the seriousness of hate crime.
Ian Loynes, Spectrum chief executive, preparing for his interview with BBC Radio Solent
Tackling people’s perceptions about different individuals in the first place is what really needs to be done to reduce the number of hate crimes, however the reality is that these incidents are still happening and those targeted need the right support.
Which is why alongside the campaign, we’ve launched a smart-phone app for anyone who is a victim of hate crime or witnessed an incident in Southampton to easily report what’s happened.
That way a better record of the incidents can be kept and people know that all they need to do is open up the app for the incidents to be dealt with.
It’s also designed to educate the public about hate crime, which is what needs to be done after National Hate Crime Awareness Week and beyond, as these incidents are sadly happening all the time.
We are confident this campaign is just the start of more individuals being accepting to others and hate crime being better understood by society.
A group of 29 local organisations, led by SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living CIC, have come together to launch a new anti-hate campaign, ‘Love Don’t Hate’, to tackle hate crime in Southampton in conjunction with National Hate Crime Awareness Week (13 – 20 October 2018). This Southampton Hate Crime Network includes all 18 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres in Southampton.
Recent statistics reveal that Southampton is the second worst city in the UK for hate crime. Almost 600 incidents of hate crime were reported in 2016/7 – a 30 percent increase on the previous year – but community organisations including those already backing Love Don’t Hate, suggest the number of offences may even be much higher.
The organisations, which include Muslim Women’s Network and Southampton Voluntary Services, and represent all sections of Southampton society, launched Love Don’t Hate with the aim of raising awareness, promoting the reporting process, and, ultimately, encouraging people and other local organisations and businesses in the city to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on hate crime.
Ian Loynes, Chief Executive of SPECTRUM, said: “It is unacceptable that in a city like Southampton, people are being allowed to get away with treating others unfairly and maliciously because of their differences. We want both those personally affected by hate crime and those witnessing them as they occur to speak out.”
To make the reporting process easier, the community wide partnership has created a network of 18 reporting centres across Southampton, where victims can access support. A new smartphone app, Southampton Love Don’t Hate, has also been developed as part of the Love Don’t Hate campaign to promote online reporting.
The app, which is available to download on Google Play and Apple, allows its users to immediately report a hate crime to the nearest third-party reporting centre. Users can also request a call back from the nearest reporting centre via the app should they require it and use the app to learn more about what a hate crime is and the types of hate crimes that can occur.
Ian added: “Everyone in Southampton should feel confident and sufficiently empowered to recognise and report incidents of hate crime, yet we know from statistics and first-hand experience this is very often not the case.
“We cannot tackle crimes that are not reported, and so addressing under-reporting in the first instance is crucial to our broader aim of reducing these incidents and making Southampton a better and safer city, with zero tolerance of this behaviour.”
– ENDS –
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Jonny Lockwood / Lara Shingles
Notes to editors
There are currently 18 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres in Southampton, all working under a common brand which has been adopted across Southampton and Hampshire:
List of 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres in Southampton
Facts and figures
In 2017, 83% of people taken to court by the Crown Prosecution Service for hate crime either admitted the offence or were found guilty by a jury or judge.
In Southampton, 574 incidents of hate crime were reported in 2016/7 – a 30% increase on 2015. 78% were reported as race hate crime.
The highest share of the city’s reported hate crime took place in the Bargate ward (29%). This is fuelled by the night time economy.
Portswood is the ward with the largest increase in hate crime. Hate crime reporting doubled from 2015 to 2016.
Millbrook is the ward with the highest proportion of disability hate crime.
SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living is a membership based organisation run and controlled by Disabled People. Based in Southampton, our aim is to ensure all Disabled People have a voice and to actively participate in all spheres of society, free of discrimination and lead an independent lifestyle of their choice.
Think you know Disabled People … Think again
To read our latest newsletter, click on the following link:
As the International Day of Disabled People (3rd December) dawns upon us, I thought I would honour this auspicious occasion by writing a blog about when a small but select group of us from SPECTRUM went to London to a Disabled People’s Summit. This group consisted of Berni Vincent from the Community Navigator Team, student social worker Paula Pace, Ross Smith from the Journey to Employment project and, of course, yours truly from the membership and information side of the fence. This event was hosted by DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) and The People’s Assembly. I will be writing about the Independent Living workshop Berni and I attended as space is limited and I thought this would be the topic most people would be interested in.
Travel to the venue was trouble-free, with all trains/taxis etc behaving themselves in spite of the inclement weather. The event was very well-attended, with approximately 200 attendees from Bedford, to the Midlands, to Southampton and London.
The day started with an opening plenary from John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, via video clip and the excellent Bob Williams-Findlay, a well-known contributor to the Disability Arts and Cultural movement and finally, Ellen Clifford from DPAC. This was followed by 7 workshops, covering accessible transport, employment, inclusive education, independent living, mental health, social security and violence and abuse against Deaf and Disabled People. You could choose which workshop you wished to attend, but as there were so many interesting topics to choose from, we had problems deciding which ones we wanted to go to! Berni and I headed off to the Independent Living workshop, with Ross going to the Employment workshop. We started off with introductions and sharing what we thought the problems were and what was essential to Independent Living. The main consensus was that the issues to be tackled were:
-cuts to people’s support packages
– the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
– cuts to social care generally
– the institutionalisation of people with Mental Health issues
– Local Authorities failing to take responsibility for the impact of the cuts.
– Inaccessibility of consultation information
Many people spoke passionately and eloquently about the issues they were facing and the anger and frustration they felt was palpable. It seemed to many of us that the concept of Independent Living has been shifting over the last 8 years so that it now seems to apply to a privileged few in that many people are having to give up their care as they cannot afford to pay for it at the same time as essential services are being cut and withdrawn. The second half of the workshop was devoted to outlining what potential solutions we could come up with to tackle these problems and reclaim the idea of Independent Living.
The solutions we came up with were:
– the right to Independent Living to be enshrined in law
– an Independent Living Service free at the point of service, funded by direct taxation and run by Disabled People
– the national reintroduction of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
– Independent Living for ALL
– hold politicians to account
– parity of esteem between visible disabilities and impairments and Mental Health and Hidden Impairments
– accessible housing at affordable prices
– co-production with Disabled People at every level
– access to advocacy for Disabled People
– Disabled People setting the “Gold Standard” for Independent Living in terms of information and housing and forcing the government to accept it
-Getting people out of institutions and back into their communities
After lunch and networking, there were more workshops and feedback from the day, before attendees departed for their home destinations, full of enthusiasm for the long fight ahead. There will be a follow-up conference in Brixton on 25th November which will flesh out what a National Independent Living Service will look like and how this can be achieved.
I often hear it said how people no longer have any fight left in them to resist what is happening, but it is an encouraging sign that I met many Disabled People that day who are more than up for the challenge and it will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on future developments as they unfold.