Over 730 young people have responded to the Youth Commission’s Big Conversation this year providing their views on the topics of Hate Crime, Serious Violence and Exploitation. In the latest quarter’s results (April – June), Hate Crime was selected most often as the top concern for young people in the policing area.
In addition to being asked to select their top concern the young people were asked how they thought the issue could be solved. Education was seen as the most popular strategy to tackle hate crime. Multiple answers wanted an increase in education around LGBTQ+ relationships and sex at a young age and diversity and inclusion training in the workplace.
As part of its work around Hate Crime Awareness Week the Youth Commission has been busy educating its own members with a session on Hate Crime with the Crown Prosecution Service and a talk from Lou Taylor from Black History Month South.
The Youth Commission has also been educating others by delivering a workshop on Hate Crime to the YMCA in Basingstoke and Princes Trust groups in Basingstoke and Southampton.
In her report on the Big Conversation results Youth Commission Mentor Sarah Arnold said: “Many respondents spoke of personal experiences with hate crime. Racism was again the most mentioned form of hate crime, with multiple people highlighting the spike in violent hate crimes and verbal discrimination against Asians amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing nationwide lockdown. Along with better education the importance of a strong support network and reporting was mentioned in more response this quarter.”
“I’ve been called many names at my school because of where I was born and my appearance, and I don’t want to see others go through what I have.”
– Big Conversation respondent, age 16, from Fareham
“All people should be treated the same in life no matter their race, gender, where they’re from or where they are going to go. Everyone is different. No two people are the same, however despite that, they should all be treated kindly and the way that you would want to be treated; not with disrespect or injustice.”
– Big Conversation respondent, age 15, from Southampton
“Encourage people to speak up and know it is ok to tell anyone and they won’t get hurt for it.”
– Big Conversation Respondent, age 16, East Hants