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Restorative Justice & Hate Crime

Smile provides a range of mediation services – Community, Family, Workplace and Restorative Approaches.

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice” based on one of five categories: religion, faith or belief; race, ethnicity or nationality; sexual orientation; disability; or gender identity.  Source:  Crown Prosecution

Latest Home Office statistics show an increase of 29% in the number of Hate Crime offences committed during 2016-17; that’s 80,393 recorded crimes committed due to hostility around race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.

Smile’s unique, empathic Hate Crime programme challenges the offenders of hate crime, helping the perpetrator understand the impact of their actions which can be wide ranging and reducing the likelihood of repeat offending*.  Through the Restorative Justice process, the programme also offers the victim the opportunity to describe the impact the crime has had on their lives.

About Smile’s Hate Crime programme:

  • Suitable for adults and young people – shorter sessions appropriate for young people (aged 12+)
  • An intensive and interactive workshop-style approach – two mediators work with one offender
  • An empathy-based programme that challenges attitudes/behaviours and can prevent repeat offending
  • Available even when the victim is not willing to meet with the offender via RJ
  • Reduces risk of further harm to the victim should RJ be appropriate and the victim willing to meet the offender
  • Anyone engaging with the programme who subsequently reoffends can expect to receive a ‘harsher’ sentence

*The key conclusion of the evaluation is that the comparison of offender histories of the matched groups of offenders provides prima facie evidence that the programme is more likely to reduce the potential for future racially aggravated offending when compared with the disposal of offenders by the courts.  Iganski. P; (August 2012), Evaluation of the Smile Hate Crime Awareness programme

Case Study – Hate Crime Awareness programme

Hate Incidents and Crimes if not dealt with appropriately have the potential to rapidly escalate for both for the victim and the community.  See Lancashire Constabulary’s Hate Crime 7 Minute Briefing for more information and help regarding Hate Incidents and Crime

Ways to report hate crime:

It doesn’t have to be the victim that reports Hate Crimes/Incidents.  If you witness the crime you can report it too.