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13 Mar 2024

Our hate crime policy receives sector-wide recognition

We have received recognition from the Housing Quality Network (HQN) for our hate crime policy, which has been highlighted as an example of best practice in the social housing sector.

This aligns with our core values of promoting inclusion and stamping out discrimination. We are proud that our approach to addressing hate incidents and crimes has been recognised in this way. 

The policy outlines how we tailor our response when a hate crime is reported to us. It’s vital that residents feel confident we understand the severe impacts this targeted abuse can have on individuals and communities. Hate crimes and incidents send a message to victims that they are not welcome and can make people feel isolated or afraid in their own homes.

We regularly review the policy to consider hate crime trends and ensure we are supporting any residents affected. Hate crime statistics published by the House of Commons Library in January 2024 indicate that, since 2015, there has been a spike in racial and religious aggravated hate crimes recorded by the police. Meanwhile, transgender identity hate crimes have also risen sharply in recent years, highlighting the need for extra vigilance. Understanding these trends allows us to raise awareness of the key issues facing our residents and communities.

During policy reviews, we have actively consulted residents to get their feedback and insights. Many support expanding our definition beyond legally protected characteristics to include other vulnerable groups. For example, residents have suggested including gender and socio-economic status in our working definition, as these can also be factors in hate incidents.

Resident groups shaping improvements

Our LGBTQ+ residents group provided particularly useful insights into barriers some face reporting incidents to their local housing officer. Their feedback led to improvements in our procedures to make it easier for residents to disclose their sexuality when making reports, if they wish to do so. We thank all residents involved in consultations for their open and honest input in shaping an increasingly victim-focused policy.

We welcome the regulator’s new requirement for social landlords to have a distinct hate crime approach. This aligns with our commitment against hate and discrimination, which we have maintained for some time. We strive to create secure and welcoming communities and believe stamping out hate empowers residents to build connections with each other based on shared values of acceptance.

Reporting hate crimes

We understand it can be difficult or frightening to come forward if you've been the victim of a hate crime. If you have been affected by hate crime, please contact your local officer. They will handle reports sensitively, provide guidance on support available and take appropriate action.