Home Office Victims' Fund and CST
14 September 2009
The Home Office today announced its decision to award CST a grant of £54,354 from the Hate Crime section of its Victims Fund, to assist our work for victims of antisemitic race hate crime. The award was one of ten made by the Fund on 14 September to help support a range of organisations working on behalf of victims of hate crime. This is the first time that CST has received any government funding.
The funding was confirmed as the Government launched its Hate Crime Action Plan which includes new measures to support victims of hate crime, bring more perpetrators to justice and increase reporting of these crimes. The plan sets out Government work to address crimes motivated by disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation or whether someone is transgender with an emphasis on preventing crimes from occurring or escalating in seriousness.
Home Office minister Alan Campbell said:
Hate crime ruins peoples lives and the Government is determined to tackle it in all its forms. People should be free to express their identities without fear of harassment and crime simply because of who they are.
The Hate Crime Action Plan will help ensure our response to these intolerable crimes is as effective as possible and create an environment that will give victims more confidence to report these crimes, knowing they will be taken seriously and acted on.
The number of antisemitic incidents reported to CST has risen steadily over the past decade; there were 609 such incidents reported during the first six months of 2009, more than in the whole of last year. In addition, a further 236 potential incidents were reported to CST during that period which, on investigation, did not show evidence of antisemitism and were not included in the total of 609. All of these actual and potential incidents required investigation and follow-up by CST staff and volunteers. In some cases, especially where incidents resulted in arrests and prosecutions, this follow-up can be extensive, and include security advice and emotional support to the victims, assistance to police investigations and responding to wider community concerns. This funding will help CST to ensure that the demands of this important work are fully met, and that those British Jews who do suffer antisemitism get the help and support that they need.
CST spokesman Mark Gardner said:
CST is especially grateful for this award, as it will help us to deliver the best possible service for those who are unfortunate enough to encounter racist hatred. It is especially encouraging to see practical Government support and commitment for our efforts against the damage being caused by the escalations in antisemitism of recent years. This is the core of CSTs work, and the funding will be used to ensure that our community is aware of the service we provide for those who experience antisemitism.
As well as training CST staff and volunteers in supporting victims of antisemitic hate crime, the funding will also help CST to encourage British Jews to report antisemitic incidents to CST and to the police, which is the first stage of addressing the problem of hate crime. This funding has already helped CST to raise awareness of this in advance of the High Holy Days, through public advertising in the Jewish community.