PMS Champion Restorative Opportunities in Hate Crime
Portsmouth Mediation Service has just signed up as a Portsmouth Third Party Reporting Centre – Here our service manager Steve Rolls is pictured with Inspector Marcus Cator as they discuss the benefits of the scheme for the local Community.
So what is a Third Party Reporting Centre (TPRC)? – It is widely accepted that hate crimes are under reported. Not all victims are comfortable with reporting their experiences directly to the police. Possible reasons for this may include:
- Lack of awareness of ways to report hate crime
- Victims find visiting police stations intimidating or daunting
- Victims believe the police won’t believe them or take them seriously
- Individuals are unaware they are victims of hate crimes
- Lack of support to help victims make a report, e.g. interpreters
- Victims fear being outed in terms of their sexuality or disability
Third Party Reporting Centres (TPRCs) overcome these barriers by providing an alternative to directly reporting to the police, without which a number of hate incidents and crimes would never be reported or recorded.
TPRCs emerged following the public inquiry into the police handling of the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in April 1993. The inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson produced a detailed report (the Macpherson Report) in 1998 which made a number of recommendations. In relation to TPRCs the most important was recommendation 16:
“That all possible steps should be taken by Police Services at local level in consultation with local Government and other agencies and local communities to encourage the reporting of racist incidents and crimes. This should include:
- the ability to report at locations other than police stations; and
- the ability to report 24 hours a day”
Despite the recommendation only specifically mentioning racist incidents and crimes, TPRCs have evolved and victims of any hate crime can report their experience at the centres.
In addition to being places where victims can report their experiences, TPRCs may also provide additional support to the victim or help signpost them to other agencies to get further specialised support.
Portsmouth Mediation Service is through its restorative approach and vision committed to helping people repair harm and find reconciliation and restoration of relationship following all forms of crime and conflict.