The need for improved responses to hate crime has become all the more apparent at a time when numbers of incidents have risen to record levels, both within the UK and beyond. Despite signs of progress, this sharp increase – and the associated rise in tensions, scapegoating and hostility towards ‘difference’ that accompanies such spikes – casts doubt over the effectiveness of existing measures and their capacity to protect victims of hate crime.

Within this talk Professor Chakraborti draws from extensive fieldwork conducted with more than 2,000 victims of hate crime to highlight three areas of failure: namely, in relation to dismantling barriers to reporting, prioritising meaningful engagement with diverse communities and delivering effective criminal justice interventions. He illustrates how those failings exacerbate the sense of distress and alienation felt by victims from a diverse range of backgrounds and communities, and compound the physical and emotional harms that victims will already have to contend with as part of the process of experiencing hate crime. Within this context he identifies ways in which criminological debate can reach beyond its own echo chamber to connect with ‘real-world’ hate crime responses and experiences, and calls for urgent action to plug the ever-widening chasm between state-level narratives and victims’ lived realities.

Neil Chakraborti is a Professor of Criminology, Head of Department and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester. He has published extensively within the broad fields of hate crime, victimology and diversity, and has been commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, Amnesty International, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a range of other funding bodies to lead groundbreaking studies which have shaped policy and scholarship in those fields. Neil is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ontario, series editor of Palgrave Hate Studies and sits on the Advisory Boards of Tell MAMA and the International Network for Hate Studies.

 

Tea and coffee refreshments will be served from 3pm.