Extremism classes for parents as reports of hate crime soar in Camden

Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on patrol

Volunteers from Stamford Hill Shomrim on patrol - Credit: Archant

Reports of hate crime in Camden have more than doubled in the last year, the Ham&High can reveal.

Camden Council is to launch a parenting course early next year to tackle extremism in children, after noticing that “deeply troubling” far-right graffiti and advertising had spread in the borough.

“Hate crime will not be accepted here,” said councillor Jonathan Simpson, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and the Voluntary Sector. “Camden is a diverse borough with a proud reputation for tolerance and acceptance. But when hate crime sadly does occur, we want people to feel confident enough to report it.”

Reports of hate crime - which includes acts of racism, homophobia, islamophobia and anti-Semitism - to third party sites have doubled in the past year, according to Camden Council.

As a part of its ‘No place for hate’ project the council has in the last year promoted the reporting of hate crimes to third party sites such as Tell Mama, Community Security Trust (CST) Camden LGBT Forum and Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre. It said victims can find these sites to be a safe neutral space when they prefer not to contact the police directly.

Incidents reported to the Metropolitan Police have also doubled, rising from 58 in July 2015 to 141 in July this year.

In February the council is to launch a new 13-week parenting course, Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities, following demands from the community for support. The programme will help parents to recognise and respond to extremism.

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Dave Rich of the CST, a charity that fights anti-Semitism, said: “This rise may partly reflect people’s increased confidence to report hate crime, but nonetheless it is worrying to see the number of hate crimes go up by so much.”

Andrew Dismore, London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, said: “Hate crime figures for Camden are deeply troubling, given the culture of toleration and pride in multiculturalism in the borough.”

Mr Dismore urged residents to remain vigilant and report any incidents to the police or to third party sites.

Commemorating the famous 1936 resistance against fascism, Mr Dismore said: “It was the 80th anniversary of the battle of Cable Street this month; that is the spirit communities must draw on to come together and stand against hate.”

The news comes during National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs from October 8-15. Mr Dismore said the awareness campaign was a reminder that residents must “stand together to end rising hate crime” in the borough.