Goldsmiths, University of London is one of 14 Third Party Reporting Centres in the borough of Lewisham, and form part of a nationwide set up to provide a targeted response to Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents. We were selected as a result of a successful bid by the Office for Students (OFS) to tackle Hate Crime and Online Harassment within the university and around the local borough.
The aim of the Third Party Reporting Centre is, like others, to provide a space for students, staff and local residents to report an incident as either a victim or a witness.
Hate Crimes/Incidents are acts that target a person’s identity and can consequently have a number of serious effects on the individual. Goldsmiths is working in collaboration with their Students’ Union to tackle the issue, and ensure that appropriate measures are put into place to help victims get the necessary support that they need.
On Tuesday 16th October 2018 and during Hate Crime Awareness Week, we officially launched the Hate Crime Reporting Centre at Goldsmiths. To mark this important occasion, we had a range of events and activities that took place across the whole day.
The first half of the day was slightly more informal and involved informing staff and students about the Centre, providing them with details and information on how to report an incident, plus to communicate information on the nature of Hate Crimes/Incidents and how they could get the right support.
Later that day we invited a number of influential people to present on issues around Hate Crime including; Mark Healey, Megan Mellor Community Coordinator for London Borough of Lewisham, Joani Reid cabinet member with responsibility for crime and safety and the Chair for the Safer Lewisham Partnership, and Elisabeth Hill our Deputy Warden. We also facilitated a marketplace welcoming some of our community partners to set-up information stalls.
This section of the event was attended by other representatives from Lewisham Council, Lewisham Victim Support, Second Wave, Restore London, Goldsmiths Students’ Union, Lewisham Safer Neighbourhood Board, Lewisham Speaking Up, Citizen Advice Lewisham, Met Police, Lewisham Homes, and Lewisham community cohesion, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network and Community Connexion.
The day was a success, and we managed to interact with hundreds of students, staff, and those that work or live in the local community to inform them about the centre and what we aim to achieve, but also to raise awareness of the subject field. Since the launch we have made tremendous progress with the project but also with forming and building good working relationships with external agencies and our community partners. We will continue to cultivate and strengthen our existing relationships, and will work together to increase understanding and raise awareness of Hate Crime issues.
To date, we currently form part of the Lewisham Safer Neighbourhood Board Hate Crime Working Group which meets every quarter, and have formed our own internal Hate Crime Working Group to which aims to oversee the developments of the Hate Crime Reporting Project, with representation on that group from Lewisham Council, and various departments across the university. In addition, we have carried out two research projects exploring students’ knowledge of Hate Crime, where we saw a dramatic increase in their understanding since the launch and the work that we have done on campus.
We have also trained over 50 members of our frontline staff in various roles to improve their knowledge and skills in working with victims who have been involved in or witnessed a hate crime/incident. We hope to continue to develop and invest in our staff in this way, but also hope that staff share the knowledge and understanding gained from these sessions to inform students and their colleagues.
Goldsmiths will continue to challenge Hate Crimes and Hate Incidents, and will contribute to making the borough of Lewisham a safe and welcoming place for all.
You can report a Hate Crime/Incident at Goldsmiths University via:
- Student Centre, Richard Hoggart Building Room 117.
- Goldsmiths Student Union, Dixon Road.
For More Information including further details about how to report, and to seek the right support please visit our website at: https://www.gold.ac.uk/hate-crime-reporting/