College of Policing statement on hate crime guidance
A College of Policing spokesperson said:
“The guidance was developed taking account of the concerns raised in The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report that the police were not properly recording incidents of race hate crime and were unable to assess the nature and scale of the problem and, therefore, to respond effectively. It aims to support forces in how to best preserve freedom of speech while protecting people from crime.
“The approach to recording set out in the guidance is consistent with incidents for other crime types, such as domestic abuse, and has been the same since the guidance was introduced in 2014.
“An initial incident may be the precursor to more serious actions or crime and, while not all incidents will escalate this way, it is only by recording concerns that police can assess their seriousness.
“The police will continue to respond to calls from schools, and officers will use their discretion in response to the specific circumstances. Policing has no desire to unnecessarily criminalise children and young people. Every decision about allegations of crime that involve children will take account of the consequences for those involved. These decisions must address the needs of children and young people not to be subject to criminal justice processes unless absolutely necessary but must also support the safeguarding of children, young people and the general public. ”
College of Policing