Centre for Hate Studies Commissioned to Evaluate Victim Support Services

Leicester criminologists have been commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire to lead a project designed to inform the development of a new hate crime strategy and victims’ support service.

Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy and Professor Neil Chakraborti (both from the Centre for Hate Studies based in the Department of Criminology) have been invited to conduct a major new piece of work which will assess the specialist support needs of hate crime victims in Hertfordshire. This research will generate much needed knowledge on the emotional, physical and health support needs of hate crime victims, and on how statutory and voluntary sector service providers can meet this demand.

The project began at the start of December, and involves gathering empirical evidence from victims, practitioners and other relevant stakeholders. The research team will use the findings to produce best practice guidance and a set of recommendations that will improve existing hate crime policy and practice in Hertfordshire.

Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Lecturer in Hate Studies, said: “Although there is a growing body of research that explores the nature and extent of hate crime victimisation, little is known about the specific support needs of victims. We therefore welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively with victims of hate crime to shape the support services that they need.”

Professor Neil Chakraborti, Director of the Centre for Hate Studies, said: “Victims of hate crime often have little awareness of or confidence in existing services and this can reinforce the sense of isolation felt by many victims. We are excited to be working with Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to address this problem and to help make people feel safer.”