On 14 September 2020, CWT brought together the Crown Prosecution Service and CARG (Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group) to deliver a webinar on understanding hate crime and the role of the CPS in delivering justice. It was the first of its kind organised for the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities, in response to the increase in hate crime reported to the police by people of Chinese appearance being racially abused and treated as scapegoats for the Covid-19 crisis.
The CPS-led webinar attracted the participation of more than 50 people from community organisations across England, as well as individual concerned citizens.
The delegates were fortunate to be joined by two leading figures from the CPS National Policy and National Legal teams during the 2-hour long webinar. They presented the work of the CPS and engaged in a lively discussion with enthusiastic participants. Opinions and experiences were freely shared.
Several ideas emerged during the discussion:
- The recording systems used by the police and the CPS need to be revamped in order to better capture data on the ethnic background of hate crime victims and track if a certain ethnic group is being targeted
- Police forces around the country need to address how to improve the way they record hate crime. Failure to do so will mean racially-aggravated hate incidents or crime on individuals/businesses will never come to the attention of the CPS who is responsible for applying the law on the prosecution of perpetrators.
- There appears to be the need for Chinese and SE Asian communities to organise better among ourselves to support victims of hate crime and encourage reporting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities to unprecedented levels of prejudice and hate. The onus is on our communities to come together, push back injustice and initiate positive change to improve the system for all concerned.
Chinese Welfare Trust would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for assisting with the delivery of the webinar, which was co-organised with CARG.