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Why police should treat the home secretary's speech as a 'hate incident' - expert comment

“The inflammatory language used by the Home Secretary in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference has not been classed as a crime, but as a hate incident, in line with a policy she supported last year. It is part of a much longer trend by politicians from many parties to demonise and scapegoat migrants and ethnic minorities.

"In Rudd’s speech she highlighted crimes against women in minority communities, but did not mention the widespread epidemic of anti-women crime in mainstream UK society; for example, the 936 women were killed by men in England and Wales between January 1st 2009 and December 31st 2015.

"These, researchers argue, are hate crimes. Why isn’t Amber Rudd concerned about this? The answer seems to be that she wants to use specific examples of crimes against women as part of the ongoing communications by government that equate migration with criminality and make large proportions of the population of Britain unsettled and fearful. The Go Home van, for example, which ran when the current Prime Minister was Home Secretary, added to fear about migration control among migrants, ethnic minority British citizens, and among people who were already concerned about migration.”

Dr Hannah Jones is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology

Hannah Jones

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