Friday 14-10-2016 - 15:41
To mark the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week, the National Union of Students Scotland has called on universities and colleges to do more to support students to report hate crimes on campuses.
Whilst Police Scotland haven’t released statistics, anecdotal evidence, as well as statistics in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (see note 1), points towards a worrying rise in hate crime across the UK in 2016.
NUS Scotland are using Hate Crime Awareness Week to encourage more universities and colleges to register as ‘Third Party Reporting Centres’, a Police Scotland scheme where organisations can register as a place for victims and witnesses of hate crime to report these incidents. Numerous colleges and universities are already reporting hubs, including Ayrshire College, Heriot Watt University, and the University of Abertay (see note 2 for a full list).
Commenting, NUS Scotland Black Students’ Officer Shuwanna Aaron, said:
“It’s incredibly concerning to see a rise in the number of hate crimes being reported across the UK, and to hear the anti-immigrant rhetoric that is being peddled by some politicians and parts of the media. All students should feel safe on their campus, and as they go about their lives in wider society - but in recent weeks and months, with the immigration debate escalating, fuelled by anti-immigrant policy announcements at a UK level, it’s more vital that support is in place to help those who fall victims to these disgraceful crimes.
“It’s encouraging to see that so many universities and colleges have already signed up to become Third Party Reporting Centres, providing safe places for students to report these crimes, and get the support they need. Putting these centres in colleges and universities means that students are able to report these crimes in spaces where they feel comfortable and confident that they will be supported. Now, we’re calling on all universities and colleges to follow this lead and ensure that students at every institution in Scotland have the opportunity to report these crimes in an environment they feel comfortable in. No one should be left to suffer in silence.
Hopefully, by making the Third Party Reporting Centres more widely available, we’ll see more students feeling confident in reporting, leading to a serious reduction in these crimes in society.
- For UK statistics, see here; http://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/tackling-hate-crime-remains-a-priority
- For a full list of third party reporting centres, see: http://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/hate-crime-and-third-party-reporting/third-party-reporting-centres
- For more information on Third Party Reporting, see here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/hate-crime-and-third-party-reporting/