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.