Hate crime project for Barkingside and Hainault criticised

Mixed feeling were expressed towards a �51,000 grant to be used to tackle a hate crime “hot spot”.

Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) announced a �51,000 grant from the Community Against Crime Innovation Fund at the area committee three meeting to run a project in the Hainault and Barkingside area.

The area has been chosen as it is considered a “hotspot” for hate crime.

Speaking last week at the meeting in Hainault Forest Community Centre, Manford Way, Hainault, Cllr Nick Hayes said: “Perhaps the best way to tackle the problem would be to look at the perpetrators and seek to change the attitudes and lack of understanding instead.

“To focus on the victims is highly commendable but it seems to be the wrong end of the telescope, maybe the focus should be elsewhere.”

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While Cllr Ann Candy suggested the “scheme sounded very similar to Victim Support”.

David Landau, from RECC who defended the project, said: “This is designed to help people who are targeted for who they are and we want to bring the victims together and help to bring back their voice.

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“We believe that people are picked on because they are isolated and we want to change this and have volunteers visiting people in their own homes.”

Cllr Edward Griffin added: “If this area is such a hot bed for racial incidents perhaps we could find out some figures and how many people are reporting this crime.

“For me, this just seems like you are touting for business.”

The RECC is looking to re-establish its community witness and support team and is looking for volunteers. If you would like to get involved contact Mr Landau on 020 8551 8178.

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