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Commissioner’s youth volunteers crack hate crime case

14 October 2021

Youth volunteers working with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones have had the unique opportunity to take a walk through a police investigation into a Hate Crime and to become the jury in a mock trial for the case.

The Youth Commission and Youth IAG members attended the Police Investigation Centre in Portsmouth during Hate Crime Awareness Week to see a hate crime being reported to the police, taken through the investigation, gathering of evidence and interviews with witnesses, and preparation of the case to put to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Members will attend the mock court room at Portsmouth University on Thursday 14 October where they will form a jury and hear the case with real prosecutors putting forward the defence and prosecution arguments, and the victim, defendant and witnesses will take the stand.

Donna Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This week is Hate Crime Awareness Week and it is a fantastic opportunity to remind people what a hate crime is and what we are doing across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to reduce the harm to people who suffer a hate crime.

“The best way to prevent hate crimes in society is for us to talk about them, to raise awareness, to make sure people are aware when they are a victim and that this is unacceptable. Working with young people and education is key to making sure we change people’s opinions and attitudes particularly towards those who may be different to them in terms of sexuality, religion or culture for example.

“Through my office we commission support services for anyone who has been a victim of Hate Crime and there are third party reporting centres where people who are subject to hate crime but don’t necessarily want to pick up the phone to the police can report it and get advice.”

Ruby Mann age 16 from Fareham, said

“It was an amazing experience that gave a great insight in to the inner working of the police. Highlighting the hardworking efforts they put into keeping us safe.”

A hate crime is “any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s actual or perceived race, religion/faith, sexual orientation, disability, or transgender identity”.

Hate Crime is one of the priorities that the Youth Commission is consulting young people on this year as part of its Big Conversation. Over the past year the CPS have been working closely with the Youth Commission, providing information sessions on each of the Youth Commissions priorities, utilising real cases to explore and educate them on the issues and the processes of the criminal justice system.