Brighton vigil to show support for hate crime victims

Brighton. Old Steine
Brighton. Old Steine

A vigil will be held in Brighton this evening to show support for those who have been affected by hate crime, as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The Brighton and Hove Solidarity Vigil will take place at 7pm at the Old Steine fountain tonight (Saturday, October 14).

Green Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty will be one of the speakers at the vigil and will call for greater recognition of the impact of hate crime and greater action on perpetrators.

Latest community safety trends show recorded incidences of all types of hate crime are on the rise in Brighton and Hove.

A total of 65 homophobic hate crimes were recorded between April and June 2017 alone, a 32 per cent increase in hate crimes compared to the equivalent quarter in the previous year – according to figures from the Community Safety and Crime Report.

Figures show transphobic crimes, racially motivated and disability hate crimes have also risen, with a notable spike in racist incidents coinciding with the month following the EU referendum vote to leave the European Union.

Mr Mac Cafferty said: “This Saturday I will stand in solidarity with all those affected by hate crime.

“No one should fear being attacked because of their sexuality, their religion, race, disability or gender identity.

“Sadly the struggle to end hate crime continues: just last week a report to the council showed that although the number of racist, religiously motivated hate crimes and hate crimes against LGBT people is on the increase, the percentage solved by the police has dropped.

“There was only one finalised homophobic case to date.

“Our city must make our many diverse communities feel safe and welcome.

“The nature of crime is also changing – and we have to work to erase it on our streets and online.

“It has never been more important that we work together to stamp out hatred and Greens will continue to raise awareness and call for serious action, better sentencing and support for people affected.

“If we are to support our diverse communities in the most effective ways and take the strongest stance against hate crimes, Government has to resource hate crime prevention and locally we repeat our call to Sussex Police to effectively prosecute hate crime offenders.”