More Than a Tick-Box? The Role of Training in Improving Police Responses to Hate Crime

Published 04/06/2020
Type Article
Author(s) Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, Prof Neil Chakraborti, Ilda Cuko
Corresponding Authors

In the years since the publication of the Macpherson report, many countries across the world have implemented policy and legislative frameworks in order to respond more effectively to hate crime. Within the UK, and despite laudable progress in some contexts, a set of significant challenges remains in relation to the under-reporting of hate crime, widespread victim dissatisfaction with police responses and inconsistent recording practices. This broader landscape of flawed responses illustrates the need for and importance of effective training for police professionals. However, little is known in connection to what training is delivered and to whom, despite a series of government action plans committing to the rollout of a national training package.

Drawing from a body of empirical evidence gathered from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, in-depth semi-structured interviews and observations of police training, this article highlights that although hate crime training is being delivered within forces, a series of structural, organisational, operational and individual barriers are undermining its delivery and effectiveness. At a time when levels of hate crime are rising, it is imperative that police officers and staff are equipped with the necessary understanding and skills to deliver a service which meets the needs of diverse communities. This article identifies how existing training provision can be improved in order to facilitate such an outcome.