Evidence base – Preventing hate crime and neighbour nuisance
Hate crime is an area which has historically been difficult to quantify. Underreporting is an identified issue with the National Crime Survey 2015/16 suggesting that only one in four hate crimes are reported to the police; local intelligence suggests that this is also an issue locally and a lot of work has been done to try to make reporting as easy and accessible as possible. Data collected for this strategic assessment period shows a disconnect between what has been reported nationally and within Avon and Somerset since the EU referendum, and what has been experienced locally in South Gloucestershire. The Avon and Somerset police force area reported an increase in reported hate crime of 31% between 2014/15 and 2015/16, however reports logged on the South Gloucestershire council database saw a slight decline in mid-2016.
Many hate crime cases in South Gloucestershire are complex and multi-faceted in nature, and need a multi-agency approach to ensure the best outcomes are achieved. The numbers of hate crime offences recorded are similar across most police beats in the area but the highest levels (and highest numerical increases) were seen in Patchway, Filton and Kingswood over the past 12 months. The Police and Crime Commissioner has promoted a campaign to encourage people to have the confidence to report incidents of hate crime and this work is important to continue encouraging victims to come forward and report to any of our partner agencies. A stated aim of partners is to increase reporting from minority groups in particular, from which disproportionately low numbers of reports are being received (e.g. Gypsy and Traveller communities, LGBT and disabled people). Community tension mapping figures for 2015 show the areas with the highest number of race- and faith-based incidents to be Kingswood, Yate and Filton- the same ‘hotspot’ areas identified in other themes of this assessment.
The new hate crime database which has been commissioned to pull together and cleanse data from multiple different reporting agencies is integral to our efforts to combat hate crime going forward. It is a demonstration of the impact we can have when data flows between partners and offers a useful model for consideration when looking at other areas of partnership work.
Neighbour nuisance and nuisance behaviour accounted for 51% of all reports to the council’s antisocial behaviour team, and data provided by the specialist Victim Support Service shows that 51% of victims reported that they were a victim of harassment from neighbours. Work is needed to strengthen tolerance and understanding between neighbours and ensure that South Gloucestershire communities remain strong as well as safe during the changes that are coming over the next few years nationally. Currently, 66% of respondents to the Viewpoint Citizen’s Panel survey on community resilience considered that people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area; efforts will continue to increase this proportion.