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Ageism could be classed as a hate crime, Sajid Javid poised to announce

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Offline the leveller

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geism could become a hate crime under a review of the law to be announced by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, as he revealed the racial abuse and threats he had suffered himself.
Mr Javid has asked the Law Commission to investigate whether ageism and misogyny should be recognised as hate crimes in the same way as offences motivated by hostility based on race, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
Charities estimate around one million older people are victims of physical, financial, psychological and sexual abuse each year yet say criminal convictions are rare and sentences too lenient.
They argue police and prosecutors would be able to take tougher action and apply for stronger sentences if hate crime could be taken into account as an aggravating factor in offences.
Mr Javid said the move was part of a review to make the legislation more effective: “Hate crime goes directly against the long-standing British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect - and I am committed to stamping this sickening behaviour out.
“Our refreshed action plan sets out how we will tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism, support hate crime victims and ensure offenders face the full force of the law."

Writing in The Telegraph Mr Javid, a Muslim born to parents of Pakistani descent, revealed he had been branded a “coconut” and “Uncle Tom” by racists, derogatory terms used to accuse someone of betraying their race culture, and received Islamophobic hate mail. “I was sent a so-called ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letter,” he writes. “No matter who you are, these attacks have a personal effect.
“Sadly we still hear incidents of intolerance, whether it’s a migrant being told they don’t belong, a disabled child being verbally abused, a Muslim woman having her veil torn off or anonymous keyboard cowards infecting the internet with hatred.”
Figures published today will show hate crimes have risen again, doubling to more than 80,000 since 2012-13, of which 63,000 involved race and 9,000 sexual orientation.
Increasing the scope of hate crime might lead to concerns that police resources could be stretched further as violent crime rises sharply. Some campaigners believe there should be greater focus on high volume crimes such as burglary and theft.
Mr Javid said he “would not hesitate to act” if the review found ways to improve the response to hate crime, including extending it to crimes against the elderly and misogyny, which would also requiring police forces to record them.

Guidelines have been introduced stipulating tougher sentences for fraudsters who target the vulnerable including the elderly. Each year money and precious belongings worth £42 million are still taken from pensioners targeted by criminals.
Of the one million cases of abuse against the elderly, charities say only 0.3 per cent result in successful criminal convictions. In 2016-17, there was a decrease in police referrals to the CPS for crimes against older people compared to a year earlier from 3,568 to 3,467, resulting in 2,783 suspects charged.
Gary FitzGerald, the chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse which has campaigned for a change in the law, said: “The UK now has an opportunity to join other countries including the US, Japan and Israel by making elder abuse a crime, with the sorts of punishments that the public expects.
“We must make it clear that we as a society will not tolerate these cowardly acts against some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
A similar review in Scotland recommended the introduction of new offences for age hostility which the Scottish government has indicated it will accept.
The government signalled misogyny could become a hate crime this summer following YouGov research which showed almost a quarter of women have been sexually harassed in a public place in past five years rising to more than half (52%) of those aged 18 to 24.

A new nationwide public awareness campaign, with the slogan: “It’s not just offensive, it’s an offence” will also launch later this autumn to educate the public on the nature of hate crime .
A home office scheme that supports religious institutions vulnerable to hate attacks will be extended for a year.
There will be specialist training to help improve police call handlers’ responses and more than £1.5m extra funds for groups such as the Anne Frank Trust and Kick It Out which support young people to challenge prejudice and hatred.

by Charles Hymas
Daily Telegraph
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 05:19:42 PM by the leveller »


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