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No Place for Racism in Tameside

 

Support Pack for Victims of Racial Harassment

Statement of Commitment

Tameside Crime Reduction and Disorder Partnership believes that all Tameside Residents regardless of race, nationality or ethnic origin, have the right to be and feel they are safe at home and in public places.

As members of the Partnership we are committed to working together to reduce the incidents of racial harassment and violence. We wish to see a Tameside in which everyone can work, learn and live free from the fear of racial harassment and violence.

Foreword

Racial attacks and harassment cause serious problems for black and minority ethnic communities.

People and families living in fear of racist attacks and intimidation are seriously affected by their ordeal. We are committed to:

  • Reduce the incidence of racially motivated crimes and harassment
  • Increase reporting and recognition of incidents of harassment and crimes which are racially motivated
  • Provide support and advice to victims of race crimes

We hope this Support Pack will provide information and guidance for individuals facing the problem and explain what practical steps to take.

The partnership has engaged in training organisations and specific staff in the reporting of racial harassment incidents, and we have increased the number of locations in Tameside where you can report it. Locations for Reporting Racial Incidents is now available. We therefore encourage you to make sure all incidents are reported.

Our commitment, as ever, is to support victims and make sure all the necessary steps are taken to put an end to racial harassment and violence.

What is a racial incident?

Racial harassment is verbal or physical aggression towards individuals or groups because of their colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin and includes attacks on property as well as people. The following definition of racial harassment has been adopted by the Partnership:

"Any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person".

Examples of racial incidents are:

  • Assault, ranging from pushing through to physical attacks, grievous bodily harm to murder
  • Verbal racist abuse ranging from jokes to offensive remarks and comments
  • Racist graffiti in any form
  • Objects being thrown at people or their property
  • Offensive mail
  • Racist literature
  • Intimidation at work on grounds of race or colour
  • Racist nuisance or disturbance including obscene telephone calls, and dumping of rubbish
  • Arson (setting fire to property)

What can you do to stop it and feel safe again?

If you are experiencing racial harassment and violence then it is important that you tell someone before it gets any worse. If the incident is particularly serious please contact the police immediately on 872 5050 or 999.

If you do not wish to contact the police in the first instance you can contact any of the organisations below:

  • Tameside Racial Equality Council
  • Tameside MBC Community Safety Unit
  • Your landlord
  • Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Tameside Victims Support

There are a number of other locations for reporting incidents.

When you have reported an incident, there are many ways you may be helped for example:

  • Advice and assistance
  • An investigation into your case
  • Mediation between you and the perpetrator
  • Emergency accommodation in certain circumstances

If you are unsure of what to do Tameside Racial Equality Council can help you by providing:

  • Free and confidential advice
  • Support and assistance
  • Help to identify options
  • Contact with other sources of help

What can the Police do?

  • The police will work with the victim and can where there is enough evidence prosecute those responsible.
  • Even where there is insufficient evidence the police may still be able to give a verbal warning.
  • In serious cases of harassment the police community safety officer can offer advice on protecting yourself or your homes.

Police Community Safety Officer Telephone Number 0161 872 5050 | Send a message to - Tameside Community Safety Unit

Responsibility of the Education Authority and schools

It is recognised by the Education Authority that racist behaviour does exist in schools. This form of discrimination and harassment severely jeopardises a child's education and future. Such behaviour will be challenged and stopped.

The Race Relations Act 1976 states that schools and governing bodies have a duty:

  • Not to discriminate in the provision of education or in the exercise of any other functions under the Education Acts
  • To ensure procedures are implemented to eliminate unlawful acts of racial discrimination and harassment
  • To promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups

What can the Education Authority do?

The Education Authority deals with racial harassment in the following ways:

  • It records all cases of racial harassment reported to them for monitoring purposes and in appropriate cases will contact the Police with the consent of the victim.
  • It encourages schools to address racism through their bullying policy.

What can Tameside Schools do?

Schools within Tameside should have their own policies for tackling racist behaviour. The headteacher and a designated member of staff should ensure that:

  • Language support for non-English speaking parents is provided
  • The problem is dealt with as soon as it arises
  • All incidents and any actions resulting from incidents are recorded in a log which is held at the school
  • Where harassment is repeated the school will consider suspending the perpetrator
  • Police are involved in particular serious cases

Reporting incidents in schools

If you become aware that your child has been subjected to racial harassment at school

You should:

  1. Make an appointment with the school to speak to your child's head teacher. 
  2. Remember the school may not know that your child has been racially harassed or there may be conflicting accounts of an incident. 
  3. Be specific: give dates, places, and names of other children involved. 
  4. Ask if there is an existing policy on racial harassment. 
  5. Make a note of what action the school intends to take. 
  6. Keep in regular contact. 

If you are not satisfied

You should:

  1. Complain to the head teacher 
  2. Write to the chair of the board of governors, explaining the situation. 
  3. Make a formal complaint to the Borough Education Officer. 

If you feel the incident is particularly serious remember you can always contact the police.

For further information contact: Education Welfare 0161 342 2290

What the Law says

Racial harassment and violence and the criminal law

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 creates a number of new racially aggravated offences, which have greater maximum sentences than their non-racially aggravated equivalents:

  • Racially aggravated assaults, including common assault, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm and wounding.
  • Racially aggravated criminal damage, including arson.
  • Racially aggravated harassment, including: pursuing a course of conduct likely to cause harassment and pursuing a course of conduct causing fear of violence. In addition, on conviction, a court can make a restraining order against an offender. Breach of a restraining order is a further criminal offence.

A crime is racially aggravated if the offender shows hostility based on the victim's membership (or presumed membership) of a particular racial group, or if the crime is motivated by hostility towards members of a racial group.

In any other case, a court should pass a stiffer sentence if the crime is shown to be racially motivated.

Racial harassment and violence and the civil law

There are three main areas of civil law that relates to racial harassment:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997: This Act allows the courts to award damages in favour of a victim. It also allows the court to grant an injunction to restrain any actual or threatened harassment. Breach of an injunction granted under the Act is also a criminal offence.
  • Injunctions: The courts can restrain any actual or anticipated criminal behaviour by granting an injunction. Breach of an injunction is contempt of court and can result in imprisonment.
  • The Race Relations Act 1976: The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on racial grounds in several areas including employment, education, housing and service provision. Racially motivated harassment and violence amount to discrimination. A court or tribunal can award unlimited compensation for injury to feelings.

Compensation

Who is entitled to compensation?

If you or your family have suffered physical injury, loss or damage to your property as a result of racial harassment, you may be entitled to compensation.

There are three sources of getting compensation:

  • Criminal Courts
  • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
  • Civil Courts.

Criminal Courts

The Magistrate or the Crown Court can make a compensation order following successful prosecution. The courts should consider making an order whenever a victim has suffered injury, loss or damage. The courts will consider the offender's circumstances when deciding on the amount.

The order can cover any of the following caused directly or indirectly by the perpetrator:

  • Physical injury
  • Loss of Earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Damage to property
  • Medical expenses
  • Theft

However, you should be aware that, such orders rarely cover the whole of your loss.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can compensate victims of crime who suffer physical or mental injury. If you have been injured as a result of a crime of violence, you need to make an application to the Authority. They will still consider an application even if the perpetrator has not been caught or identified.

What you need to do:

  1. Report the crime to the police immediately. 
  2. Co-operate with police investigation ­ failure to do so will invalidate your application.
  3. Get a crime reference number from the police. 
  4. Keep a copy of any sick notes, hospital or doctor's letters and any receipts. 
  5. Make your application for compensation within two years of the incident. 

You can apply for criminal injuries even if you had a compensation order awarded in your favour.

Civil Courts

The civil courts can also award compensation. It is important to seek legal advice from a solicitor, or Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau. Claims for personal injury must be made within three years.

If you are injured or your property is damaged you should:

Inform the Police about details of your injury or damage to your property.

  • Make it clear that if the perpetrator is prosecuted you want to claim compensation.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Consider using professional photographers if you have been injured.
  • Keep a copy of any sick notes and hospital appointments.
  • Photograph any damage to property.
  • Keep a record of expenses for example repairs, visits to hospitals.
  • Update the police officer dealing with your case of any further damage to your health or additional expenses incurred.

If you need help obtaining or completing a CICA Form, contact Tameside Victims Support, Tameside Citizens Advice Bureau, Tameside Racial Equality Council or apply direct to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, Tay House, 300 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4LN. Tel. 0141 311 2726.

Monitoring Racial Harassment

The Partnership aims to support victims of racial harassment in every way possible. In order to deal effectively with your case, monitoring racial harassment is essential. All incidents are recorded in the Multi-Agency Reporting Form across Tameside. This information can help the Partnership to take appropriate action. It is important that you give as much information as possible about each incident and a copy of the completed form will be given to you to keep.

Locations for Reporting Racial Incidents

Racial Attacks are Crimes

Report it now to the Police 0161 872 5050

In Case of Emergency Call 999

Racial discrimination is against the law!

If you think you've been unfairly treated or harassed because of your race in:

  • jobs and training
  • education
  • housing
  • services (shops, clubs, pubs etc.)
  • policing

Tameside Crime and Disorder Partnership

Partnership links page