In ASB Awareness Week, we are raising awareness of an under-reported category of ASB: hate incidents and crimes.
Some of our customers experience this kind of behaviour without realising that they are victims of a hate incident or crime. They suffer in silence and don’t give us the opportunity to make a difference.
We believe that everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of abuse or attack. We want to ensure that our homes and our communities are great places to live in and we value diversity. We are committed to tackling hate incidents and crimes.
So what is a hate crime?
A hate crime is motivated by hostility or prejudice because someone is different, in one of these ways:
- Race, colour, ethnicity or nationality
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment or transgender identity
- Alternative-subculture (this refers to groups defined by a strong sense of collective identity, values and tastes. People involved in these groups usually stand out because of their distinctive clothing, make up, body art or the kind of music that they like).
A wide range of behaviours can be defined as a hate crime. Targeting people or property, these may include:
- Verbal abuse or ridicule
- Vandalism and/or arson
- Threatening behaviour
- Offensive literature or other communications
How is hate crime reported to us?
We will accept reports of hate crime directly from victims and witnesses, but also from people who are reporting on behalf of someone else. We understand that victims of hate crime might discuss their experiences at advice centres, places of worship, with the police, their GP, families or friends rather than making an official report to us.
How do we respond to hate crime?
We deal with hate crime and racial incidents as serious or high-risk. This means that we will respond to a report within one working day.
We offer a confidential service, talking to customers at our offices, by telephone, or an agreed choice of safe venue. Where appropriate, we carry out a risk and vulnerability assessment and provide support for victims, their family, and children.
There are practical steps we can take, too.
We deal with any repairs which are needed because of hate crime and racial incidents as an emergency and remove offensive graffiti within 24 hours. Where there are particular risks and vulnerabilities, we might also provide additional security to a customer’s home.
Proven hate crime and racial incidents breach the conditions of our Tenancy Agreement and we will take appropriate action against tenants or members of their household responsible for this behaviour.