• Abeer Ahmed

Police Information evening: Recording Hate Crimes and incidents

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Date: Wednesday September 30th

Time: 7.00pm

Venue: Avalon Pavilion

Purpose: The event was organised by the Lower Hutt Muslimah Committee following a potentially local Muslim hate related incident to inform and empower the Lower Hutt Muslim community how to report racially driven incidents.


Eric Tibbott - Superintendent National Manager Prevention, Wellington

Bradley Allen – Area Coordinator Youth and Community, Lower Hutt

Key Messages:

 The initial but ongoing investigation of the recent incident in Lower Hutt involving a

Muslim family does not appear to be race related so the Muslim community can be

assured they are safe.

 If you are facing or witnessing a racially driven incident call 111 immediately.

 If possible, always video the incident.

 Crime stoppers New Zealand is anonymous 0800555111 or online

 The Lower Hutt police would like to stay connected with the Muslim community with

future information events.

We had an audience of around 50 people from the Muslim community. Superintendent Eric Tibbott gave a short presentation on the work of New Zealand Police around hate crimes and their goals for ‘safer communities together’. Their Police operating model is ‘prevention first’ and partnerships with community organisations play a key role in achieving this. Superintendent Eric explained the difference between a hate incident and a hate crime and the importance of reporting them as it allows the police to ‘flag’ incidents/individuals to identify trends. A hate incident is motivated, wholly or in part, by hostility, or prejudice against a person or group of people based on race, ethnicity, nationality or colour; religion or faith; gender or gender identity; sexual orientation; age and disability. A hate incident becomes a ‘hate crime’ if the reported circumstances amount to a criminal offence. Recording and investigating hate crimes allows the police to effectively promote community cohesiveness, protect minority groups and vulnerable individuals/communities. It helps to provide an excellent service for the victims, witnesses and communities whilst valuing inclusiveness and diversity. Focused prevention through partnership means offenders are held to account to prevent re-victimisation.

Reporting to police

- emergency (life threatening, immediate danger) phone 111

- non-emergency phone 105

- online reporting

- direct in person at police station

A key question asked by a few members of the audience was regarding statistics of hate crimes towards Muslims, especially post the March 15 2019 shootings in Christchurch. We were concerned to hear that data on ethnicity and religion is not routinely collected by the police as this could help identify trends. Superintendent Eric acknowledged this and encouraged the community to write to him directly to request this so he could escalate it within the police department, which we plan to do. Sergeant Bradley explained his role as community team leader. He reiterated the importance of reporting and recording potential hate incidents/crimes by using the recent case in Lower Hutt. He emphasised that the more victim statements received the better as this helps the Police to build a case against an offender. The key message was to never assume another person is going to call the police to report an incident. Always do it yourself, they prefer multiple calls rather than none. The 111 phone has access to several language lines to help with translation so don’t let this stop you. The evening covered various topics about racial incidents, social media and how to ‘police’ our community and the role that Crime Stoppers NZ plays in helping the police. The Muslim community were able to ask many questions which were always acknowledged and answered. Both officers were also happy to stay behind to speak to people directly. There was commitment from both the Muslim community and the Police to maintain engagement and communication in the future. Following the presentation, the Lower Hutt police have invited a small group of Muslim brothers and sisters to take part in their leadership forum on hate crimes at the end of October. They are interested in hearing about Islam, our perspective on what it means to be a Muslim in New Zealand and how we feel we are policed. The LHMC plans to get feedback from our Muslim community on these questions to more accurately reflect our cultural diversity.

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