Nottinghamshire Police has started working on an innovative new hate crime perpetrator programme with local authority partners, the National Holocaust Centre and Nottingham Trent University.
It is aimed at challenging the thinking and behaviour of people who have committed, or are at risk of committing, a hate crime or hate incident. Initially it is being aimed at young people, but eventually will be available for all hate crime perpetrators.
The programme uses the National Holocaust Centre, a world-renowned resource.
As well as serving as a lasting memorial to victims of genocide, the centre is a place of education that challenges prejudice and discrimination and includes The Journey – the first exhibition in the UK built purely for the purpose of educating children about the Holocaust.
The Journey follows a Jewish family living in Berlin in 1938 and takes visitors through their experiences of hate crimes and isolation, ultimately ending with some members of the family going into hiding. The Journey ends with the chance to speak to a survivor of the Holocaust.
By exposing visitors to the most extreme example of hate crime in living memory, the programme aims to encourage people to consider the impact of their behaviour and the consequences of hate crimes.
The perpetrator programme includes sessions before and after the visit to the exhibition, where the group are asked to consider the implications of their actions and who they may have affected.
James Griffiths, Director of Learning at The National Holocaust Centre, said: “By taking people into 1938, we’re creating a ‘safe’ environment for them to consider their own actions and the impact they have had on other people’s lives. Crucially, we want them to understand how one isolated incident of hate crime can escalate and explain the far-reaching implications of their actions. We’ve already had positive feedback from local students who have attended the exhibition, who have drawn real parallels with modern society.”
David Alton, Hate Crime Manager at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Hate crime is an issue that affects people deeply – it’s a personal attack on someone. Nottinghamshire Police takes all reports of hate crime extremely seriously and we’re delighted to be working with the National Holocaust Centre and Nottingham Trent University to tackle this issue. By educating perpetrators and potential perpetrators, we’re hoping to shift people’s perceptions of the impact of hate crime and encourage them to rethink their behaviour.”