22 Mar ‘Did you know?’ Thursdays
Do you know what hate crime is?
Hate crime, also known as bias crime, is a criminal act committed with a bias motive. The specific motive makes hate crimes different to other crimes. (see OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights 2009) This type of crime can “be an act of intimidation, threats, property damage, assault, murder or any other criminal offence.” (OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights 2009). A person’s intolerance and bigotry could also be the trigger of violent actions. The offender has the aim of hurting the victim because of his/her “race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability” (National Crime Prevention Council 2014).
In recent years, hate crime has seen a radical increase. Since the Brexit vote, the number of hate crimes recorded by British regional police rose by up to 100 % in certain localities, such as Dorset.In the USA, the New York Police Department received 143 hate-crime reports, 42 percent more than during the same months of 2016. Many of these complaints targeted Jews. In Malta, hate crimes occur in several fields: based on ethnic/immigrant origin, age, disability, gender, religion or belief and sexual orientation. According to the FRA survey of 2008 “EU minorities and discrimination” (EU-MIDIS 2008), 52% of the African origin sample thinks that ethnic discrimination in Malta is fairly widespread.
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