Exactly a year ago, I wrote a column in the Free Press titled “Is hate crime really falling?”
That column shamed the council to act, to consult with people, stop the superficial imposition of strategies, and to undertake a comprehensive review of the hate crime strategy.
At the time, the CEO of the council requested for my direct support, which I duly gave without any charge, unlike many consultants currently working for the council.
When I met the council and police staff, I stated I am keen to provide them my support subject to two conditions: 1) commit to develop a full programme of work that looks at all the inequalities that people who are susceptible to hate routinely face such as discrimination in employment, housing, education and health; 2) confirm that the mayor is really committed to equality, and in that context will ring-fence resources to tackle these inequities just in case there is a change in leadership in the future.
In other words confirm people would be protected. I made the second point due to my significant experience of working with many of the senior officers in the council.
I know if Doncaster elected a mayor with a Trump-like philosophy this spring, it would be an absolute exception if an officer or elected member has the conviction, integrity or decency to stand up like John Bercow (right) recently did. On the contrary, most of them will strategise to oust the Bercows of this world for the sake of their own existence.
To put this into context, isn’t it a shame the points I made a year ago have now been confirmed as true. In the council’s most recent crime report, hate crime is going up by as much as 50 per cent and isn't actually falling.
Isn’t it a shame that the council has still not published a full and transparent consultation report for us to read, so we know who it invited and who it excluded.
Isn't it a bigger shame the council has still not published an actual hate crime strategy. What I find most upsetting is the fact the mayor is now in her final few months in office, and it feels we are no further forward in terms of equality and fairness compared to the first day she took office.
On the contrary, the town seems to have gone backwards in terms of philosophy and action. Though, fortunately for the local Labour establishment it can still hang their coat on the fact they have a Tory economic policy to rely on, and in that context continue to state insignificant platitudes.