The Centre for Hate Studies

Transforming practice

Over the course of the last 15 years, the Centre for Hate Studies has sought to use research findings to shape new and improved practice in order to ensure that responses to victims and perpetrators are evidence-based, effective and sustainable.

The CHS has provided evidence-based recommendations for criminal agencies and third-sector organisations across the UK. This has resulted in:

  • New and improved strategies
  • The delivery of training on the support needs of victims to frontline practitioners
  • Changes to reporting mechanisms and awareness-raising campaigns 
  • The creation of new assessment tools to identify victim support needs on first contact
  • Commissioning specialist support services 

Testimonials from those who have adopted the evidence-informed recommendations indicate that this new policy and practice has improved reporting rates, the quality of support and detection of perpetrators.

Working with the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies has enabled us to apply contemporary academic research into operational practice. This has led to significant and positive cultural change in relation to staff training and the embedding of new systems approaches and processes to track and report hate incidents in NHS inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings. This in turn has ensured that we as a Trust are equipped to support the needs of both patients and staff who have been affected. I cannot speak highly enough of both the School of Criminology and the Centre for Hate Studies for the support they give to statutory organisations like the NHS and wider community and voluntary sector. Without them change would not have been possible.

Leon Herbert, Prevent Coordinator at Leicester Partnership Trust

Epigeum – part of Oxford University Press - develops online courses designed to support universities in their core activities – in teaching and development, research, studying, and support and wellbeing. Our courses are developed through global collaboration with experts and partner universities and used by leading institutions around the world. We are delighted to be collaborating with the Centre for Hate Studies on a brand-new digital programme aimed at supporting universities as they work to tackle harassment and hate. Providing a holistic approach, the Tackling Harassment programme consists of two complementary modules, Being an active bystander and Responding to Disclosures. The Centre for Hate Studies has joined an expert panel which brings together leading universities, subject experts and students. The panel is responsible for reviewing content at key stages in the development of the programme, helping to shape the overall approach and ensuring Tackling Harassment delivers on the programme vision of raising awareness and promoting long-term positive cultural change. Universities are uniquely placed to drive cultural change and the extensive research done by the Centre around the issue of hate and harassment in higher education will greatly enrich the evidence base underpinning this programme, and effect real change across the global university sector.

Kathryn Rylance, Commissioning Editor, Support and Wellbeing

The Centre for Hate Studies has been delivering the Standing Together project to tackle harassment, hate crime and sexual misconduct in higher education through the three rounds of the OfS safeguarding catalyst programme. In addition to raising awareness and providing support to the University of Leicester student body, the Centre has been a driving force in seeking to understand and support the needs of those who have experienced hate crime and harassment. Their work has created a wide range of research and resources to tackle and address hate and harassment.

Amy Norton, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Office for Students

As a scholar and a student of Hate Studies, the Centre for Hate Studies has been a source of information, critique and refuge for students and practitioners hoping to understand the complexities of hate crime and ultimately how we eradicate it in our communities. Prof. Chakraborti and all at the Centre for Hate Studies have worked diligently in our communities, with victims of hate crime, practitioners and scholars to ensure the symbiotic relationship works to stop the scourge of hate crime.

Dominique Walker, Vice Chair of the Anthony Walker Foundation

The work of the Centre for Hate Studies has been vitally important to the Stop Funding Hate campaign, and has played a key role in our success. By evidencing the clear link between hateful media coverage and hate crime on our streets, the Centre for Hate Studies has helped us to build a clear and compelling case to big brands that they must take more responsibility for the impact of the millions of pounds they spend each year on advertising, and take positive, proactive steps to avoid funding media that fuel hatred. Thanks in part to the Centre's strong and public support for our work, and for the work of our industry partners, the Conscious Advertising Network, it is rapidly becoming an established principle within the advertising industry that brands must take as much care over the impact of their advertising as they do over other parts of their supply chain. As more and more advertisers have taken these arguments on board, we have seen a marked reduction in hateful headlines within the UK press. Just this week [June 2020] over 200 advertising industry leaders publicly endorsed a call for brands to stop funding racist and white supremacist content through their advertising and join the Conscious Advertising Network. The support of the Centre For Hate Studies has lent vital credibility to our advocacy over the last three years and this is now yielding concrete real-world changes.

Richard Wilson, Director of Stop Funding Hate

The Centre for Hate Studies has contributed significantly to the Law Commission’s review of hate crime laws in England and Wales. We have drawn upon the Centre’s research in our policy development, which has deepened our understanding of victims’ experiences and barriers to reporting, the profile of offenders, the relationship between victims and offenders, and the role of restorative justice. Our Consultation Paper includes an eight page section describing the research undertaken as part of the Centre’s “Leicester Hate Crime Project”, one of only two research projects featured in this way in the paper, both of which we describe later in the paper as having made “valuable contributions” to “research into the sources of hateful attitudes, [and] effective ways to reduce recidivism and prevent hate crime offending in the first place.” The paper also features discussion of Professor Chakraborti’s work on the role of vulnerability and difference in the selection of protected characteristics or groups. We have also had the benefit of Professor Chakraborti’s expertise in peer reviewing chapters of our Consultation Paper. There is no doubt that the evidence base for our review is more robust as a result of the Centre’s work, and this should ultimately lead to better policy outcomes for the community.

Professor Penney Lewis, Commissioner for Criminal Law at The Law Commission

Within the context of policing, the CHS has informed new and improved practice by being appointed by the HMICFRS to provide evidence-based advice to inform the 2018 inspection of police responses to hate crime, which resulted in a set of recommendations made to all forces in England and Wales designed to improve responses to victims. The CHS were also approached by the College of Policing to consult on the content for the new hate crime for all call handlers working for police forces in England and Wales.

The CHS has improved awareness of hate crime and good practice responses to it through participation on a number of regional and national roundtables. The have been organised by organisations from different sectors including criminal justice agencies, local authorities, educational institutions, health and social care organisations, and charities such as:

  • Equality and Justice Alliance
  • Galop
  • Government Equality Office
  • Home Office
  • National Union for Students
  • Office for Students
  • Universities UK 

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