Sam Barstow

SamBarstow

Sam Barstow is the Service Manager for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour at the City of Lincoln Council.


Hate crime is something that not everyone will know a lot about, but it’s more common than you might think.

Part of my job as Public Protection and Antisocial Behaviour Manager at the city council is to look at crime statistics in Lincoln, and although we know from speaking to community groups that hate crime is taking place, very few cases are reported to police or partner organisations.

Part of the problem may lie in the fact that people are not entirely clear on what constitutes a hate crime. In a nutshell, a hate crime is just that, a crime motivated by hate, targeted at a person because of their disability, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

Today marks the start of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which aims to make as many people aware of hate crime as possible by encouraging organisations such as the police and councils to run events and promote it locally.

The city council is working with its partners to raise awareness of hate crime in Lincoln.

If something is happening but people aren’t letting us know, it makes it close to impossible to investigate and doesn’t help us to prevent the next victim, so it’s essential people report incidents to the police.

This week we also want to start a conversation and are seeking people’s views and experiences of hate crime, and in particular for this week, hate crime directed at people with disabilities.

Most decent people would be shocked to learn that people with disabilities would be the target of hate crime, but unfortunately it does happen.

Specific groups may be targeted, such as those who use mobility scooters, blind people and those with mental health issues.

It’s not acceptable when directed at anyone, for any reason, and that’s why we want to do what we can to stop it.

So we are looking for people to put us in the picture by getting into contact with us anonymously, and letting us know a bit more about their experiences. Where does it tend to happen? What do people say or do that upsets the victim? How does the victim feel?

You can get in touch with us by visiting the city council website and searching for ‘hate crime survey’ from the front page, or by visiting the website.

It is important to stress that this is just for us to get a clearer understanding of hate crime so we can work to prevent it in the future.

If you want your report to be investigated, we would always recommend reporting the matter to the police by calling 101.

Sam Barstow is the Service Manager for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour at the City of Lincoln Council.

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week, the name of which is pretty self-explanatory.

Hate crimes are often the result of horrible, vicious behaviour and, unfortunately, this can often motivate other behaviours that aren’t quite crimes in the legal sense.

The definition of hate crime is “A crime motivated by racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, or other prejudice”.…so does it only matter when hate motivates crime?

In my role at City of Lincoln Council I am responsible for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour services.

My team and I are often required to investigate all types of behaviours such as littering, fly tipping and breaching orders or notices, among other things.

However, a lot of the time we spend investigating complaints about behaviours that have an impact on other people’s lives and often these can be civil matters.

So does hate matter to us? Put simply, yes it matters a great deal, and we certainly know it matters greatly to people who may need to use our services.

When someone acts in a way that negatively impacts your life, and particularly when this behaviour is persistent, the affects can be significant. This is certainly the case when that behaviour is motivated by someone’s hate.

This isn’t hate driven by a wrong someone has caused them or something they are accountable for, but simply because someone takes exception to another’s disability, faith, gender identity, race or sexual orientation.

People who contact us can often be very distressed and may be changing their lifestyle or suffering negative impacts on their health because of the behaviour of others, and when these actions are done maliciously it is right that we respond swiftly and robustly.

Every person who contacts my team is risk assessed and the reason we do this is not to pry, but to attempt to understand the personal impacts of the actions of others. This includes considering whether the offender’s behaviour is motivated by hate.

If we, or you, believe it is then we will treat it as such. Just like any other public service we often have to prioritise how we respond to things and where hate motivates, this will be a definite priority.

So does it only matter when hate motivates crimes? Well in our eyes, and the eyes of our partners, hate matters in all circumstances. So, let us be a city that does not tolerate hate – in any form.

Sam Barstow is the Service Manager for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour at the City of Lincoln Council.