Humberside Police receive increasing reports of hate crime
According to Humberside Police, hate crimes against those from the Gypsy, Roma and travelling community in East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire are on the rise.
The law currently recognises five types of hate crime on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.
Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities face regular discrimination in the UK, with many being influenced by stereotypes or a lack of understanding.
Figures from Humberside Police show that more than 2,400 hate crimes were reported in the last 12 months, marking an increase year on year.
In 2011 it was recorded that 74% of Gypsies and Travellers were settled into permanent housing in the UK.
DC Kelly Edgar, who founded the Humberside GRT Police Association, spoke about the issues faced by members of the GRT community: “They are still portrayed negatively by organisations, the media and people’s general lack of knowledge or understanding about the culture.
“As with any community, there are always good and bad. There is a stigma surrounding the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and criminality. This is fuelled by local media and the fact that police are often asked to attend unauthorised sites with the local council.”
A 2017 survey shows that roughly 91% of people within the GRT community had experienced discrimination, with 77% experiencing hate speech or a hate crime.
However, many are still reluctant to report these crimes to police either out of distrust of police or the belief that no further action will be taken.
Hull city council are teaming up with Humberside Police to crack down on Hate Crime, urging people to come forward and report these incidents.
DC Edgar added: “Most people’s perceptions are of the transient community that travels around the country, taking up residence on local land. However, the majority of GRTs are settled in houses but they are still discriminated against in other areas of their lives.”
“GRTs are reluctant to report hate crime. I worked hard to change this when I was a Community Cohesion Officer, working with the GRT community and with police officers to try to educate them.”
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