Council condemns rise in Cambridgeshire hate crimes

The City of Ely Council condemned a rise in hate crimes in Cambridgeshire since lockdown

The City of Ely Council condemned a rise in hate crimes since lockdown – including a six-year-old Ely boy who was subject to a "homophobic attack". - Credit: POLICE

The City of Ely Council has condemned a rise in hate crimes in Cambridgeshire since lockdown – including a six-year-old Ely boy who was left “too scared” to go outside after being subjected to a “homophobic attack”

The council motion to encourage inclusivity and diversity comes after a Freedom of Information request revealed that Cambridgeshire Police recorded 143 sexual orientation hate crimes from January to August 2021.  

The FOI also revealed that 19 transphobic hate crimes were recorded in 2019, 20 in 2020 and 17 in January to August 2021.   

72 violence against the person sexual orientation hate crimes were also recorded in 2019, with 60 in 2020 and 77 from January to August 2021.   

At the City of Ely Council’s full council meeting on January 18, the report was discussed and councillors unanimously supported the following statement. 

The statement reads: “The City of Ely Council re-affirms that our city should be an open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive community where everyone is valued.  

“The council has already formed an ‘inclusivity working group’ which has been in communication with local community groups and organisations and has been advocating on their behalf.   

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“This work continues and the council wishes to engage with any groups or organisations that we have not been able to make contact with yet.   

“We would encourage you to contact us on 01353 661016 or email info@cityofelycouncil.org.uk.” 

At their full council meeting on July 29, the council approved the following motion:  

“That the City of Ely Council, while affirming the local community's history of openness and inclusiveness, notes with concern the published data on increases in hate crime.

"It proposes that all people irrespective of age, race, gender or gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, disability, religion or belief are welcome in this chamber and in this city.

"And that they are entitled to be treated with respect, dignity and in an equal manner. 

“Furthermore, acknowledging its duty under the Equality Act 2010, the council commits to going beyond this to work to place inclusiveness at the heart both of its policies and the life of the local community.  

“In doing this, the council will:

"(1) establish communication with groups representing the diversity of Ely and seek to ensure that these groups feel included in decisions made. 

“(2) Engage with external bodies to encourage their working toward the same inclusivity standards.

“(3) Inaugurate a process of reviewing the council's actions and policies to ensure that they seek to include all people. 

“(4) publish annually with its 'annual report' the success of these same actions and policies in including all the people of Ely. 

“The council continues to uphold and move forward with this and will continue to ensure they fulfill this pledge.”