Increase in racist incidents
RACIST incidents in Ipswich are more than three times as common as in other parts of Suffolk, according to figures published today.Last year saw 145 racist incidents recorded in the town, out of 296 across the county said a report by the Suffolk Multi-Agency Forum Against Racial Harassment.
RACIST incidents in Ipswich are more than three times as common as in other parts of Suffolk, according to figures published today.
Last year saw 145 racist incidents recorded in the town, out of 296 across the county said a report by the Suffolk Multi-Agency Forum Against Racial Harassment.
Racist incidents reported to police continue to increase year on year for a whole raft of reasons.
The forum's annual report for 2002 states: "This increase could be due to a number of factors, including greater levels of trust and confidence, more homogenous recording systems, or increased levels of racist tension in and around certain hotspots," and says research would be needed to find out which factor had the most effect.
The report highlights a steady number of cases referred from citizens' advice bureaux across Suffolk since the launch of a scheme 18 months ago to allow people to report incidents in unthreatening environments.
The report also reveals that people from minority ethnic communities are just over twice as likely than white people to be cautioned rather than prosecuted.
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Chris Yule, chief Crown prosecutor said: "Data on cases involving racial harassment… shows that the number of cases being received from the police will, if the projections based on half-year figures are confirmed, be twice as many as in the previous year. This is a reflection of the increased number of reports that have been received through the reporting framework that is now set up within the county."
At Ipswich Chinese Culture and Language Centre in Nacton Road, representative Yun-Fai Pang said: "Our encouragement of victims to report incidents is having results.
"The best way to combat racism in any form is through education. The Mingle youth conference has now become an annual event for high schools. This is the best way to educate the next generation in Suffolk, showing that racism in any form is socially unacceptable."
The county's racial harassment initiative, which encourages reporting of crime and offers care and support, won one of 12 'certificates of excellence' in the British Crime Prevention Awards 2001, from among 252 entries.