Louise Casey from the Cabinet Office has asked for responses to this review.
The Cleveland PCC's update is provided below:
Within Cleveland, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Police have undertaken considerable work to improve community cohesion and integration and to challenge social isolation. The key initiatives undertaken are listed below.
Media Cultured CIC
The PCC commissioned a pilot programme in 10 secondary schools across Hartlepool, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland to enhance social cohesion and counter radicalisation and racism.
The project involved training for teachers from the designated schools which was delivered by Media Cultured CIC, a social enterprise that designs and delivers 'identity and integration' workshops aimed at encouraging harmony, tolerance and integration, together with equipping educational professionals with the resources and skills necessary to counter non-violent extremist views. As part of the training package the schools were given access to teaching resources and lesson plans to assist them in implementing the workshops within school.
The project has received national acclaim from the former independent terrorism legislation reviewer, Lord Carlile, who felt that the programme should be rolled out across the whole of the UK - http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/2015-12-09/anti-radicalisation-programme-trialled-on-teesside-could-be-used-on-much-wider-scale/
Show Racism the Red Card
The PCC commissioned the North East charity, Show Racism the Red Card to deliver a programme of race hate education in primary and secondary schools across Cleveland.
The project involved:
- Anti-racism education workshops alongside fun, football, fitness sessions for over 2000 young people in school based sessions offered to all Primary and Secondary schools across Cleveland. The sessions utilised ex professional footballers, who spoke about their experiences of racism, both on and off the pitch, and how this has affected them personally. The sessions aimed to create a safe space where the young people could openly discuss their concerns and feelings and challenge negative racial stereotypes.
- Three training events aimed at teachers and youth workers focussing on equipping those who deal with young people with the skills needed to help them challenge any racist attitudes or stereotypes within the classroom.
- An Anti-Racism Education Event including pupils from three primary schools at Riverside Football Stadium in Middlesbrough.
Regional Refugee Forum
There is a high concentration of Refugee and Asylum Seeker (RAS) community within certain parts of Cleveland, most notably Middlesbrough, where the proportions of asylum seekers lie outside of Government guidance cluster levels, with one ward having a ratio of 1:17. The RAS community have notably different issues to the resident BME community, especially regarding mistrust of the police due to experiences from their home countries and also due to a misconception that reporting incidents can affect their immigration status. Both the PCC and the Police meet regularly with the RAS community through the medium of the Regional Refugee Forum (RRF), who are an independent membership organisation of the North East region’s Refugee-led Community Organisations (RCOs), enabling their collective voice to be heard by decision makers so as to influence the way that policy and services are designed and delivered.
In association with RRF work is planned to disseminate information to the RAS community regarding policing in the UK, how to report incidents and specifically around hate crime.
Strategic Independent Advisory Group
Within Cleveland there are 4 geographic IAGs covering each Local Authority area, and one Strategic IAG bringing together representatives from the geographic IAGs to discuss strategic issues that affect the whole Cleveland area. Due to diminishing representation at the SIAG a consultation with the community was undertaken to establish what areas the SIAG should focus on, and this led to a Communities Conference giving specific information on the topics raised – Child Sexual Exploitation, Prevent and Counter Terrorism, Diversity Monitoring, Professional Standards and Hate Crime. As a result of discussions at the Conference work is now underway to increase the diversity of SIAG members, specifically in the areas of LGB&T and RAS.
Disability Hate Crime
Through consultation and engagement with the disabled community, in particular those with a learning disability, it became apparent that many of this community suffer disability hate crimes and incidents on a regular basis which can lead to loss of independence and social isolation through fear of being targeted.
We found some people were changing their whole routines to avoid discrimination, for instance wanting to avoid the times when school children were using public transport.Use of public transport was a particular issue, and the PCC convened a meeting of local bus companies together with a learning disability group to discuss the issues.
This has led to one particular bus company working with the PCC Office to produce a disability hate crime education DVD, which has been shown to all bus drivers, together with all frontline police staff and staff from Local Authorities and Education. The PCC has also commissioned a similar DVD for use in primary schools which has been successfully piloted in Norton Primary, where staff have noted a noticeable change in behaviour of pupils towards the more vulnerable pupils. The Police have worked with carers within the community to train then to recognise the signs of hate crime and report incidents on behalf of those whom they care for. This ‘Hate Crime Champions Training’ has seen a significant increase in reported incidents of disability hate crime, which we see as a positive move that people are recognising the signs and having the confidence to report.
LGB&T Hate Crime
The LGB&T community can also be targeted leading to social isolation. The PCC commissioned a report from an LGB&T community association to look at the barriers within the LGB&T community to reporting hate crime.
As a result of the recommendations in the report the PCC has commissioned a series of training events for frontline police officers from Neighbourhood and Response Teams, and Local Authority staff.
The training was delivered by an LGB&T community organisation and focused on improving awareness of homophobic and transphobic issues.
People living with dementia can often face social isolation, and both the PCC and Police have recently focused on a number of initiatives regarding dementia. There are Police Cadet Units in each of Cleveland’s four Local Authority areas, and cadets have undertaken ‘Dementia Friends’ training, which raises awareness of the signs of dementia and encourages those who have been trained to take a more active role in supporting people living with dementia within their local community. The PCC is now a trained Dementia Friend. One example of a specific project around dementia is an event organised between Redcar and Cleveland Police Cadets, Alzheimers Society and a local cinema to host a screening of ‘White Christmas’ specifically for those living with dementia and their carers, where the cadets dressed to replicate the era in relevant clothing with the aim of stimulating positive memories for people with dementia.