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Bradford police chiefs make pledge to update literature on race crimes after watchdog’s criticism
Police chiefs in Bradford have pledged to make sure race hate help literature in police stations is up to date, after criticism from a West Yorkshire civil rights group.
JUST West Yorkshire carried out a review in June of West Yorkshire Police procedures for the reporting of race and religious hate crime and says its evidence highlighted that current reporting arrangements were “not fit for purpose.”
It claimed deficiencies in the way hate crime can be reported by phone and online, and said the West Yorkshire Force needed to undertake an urgent review of its race and religious hate reporting arrangements, as they “fall far short of the needs of victims.”
JUST claimed the Force website had inadequate information, was seriously out of date, and needed updating as a matter of urgency.
In a letter to Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison, JUST West Yorkshire director Ratna Lachman claimed that fair access to justice was being denied to victims due to the failure of the police to ensure there were appropriate reporting arrangements to meet their needs.
One of the problems highlighted by the civil liberties group was out of date literature at Lawcroft House police station in Heaton .
It said a leaflet kept there, produced by Bradford Hate Crime Alliance and advertised as a hate incident reporting centre, provided a website address and phone number which did not work. The group said it visited the reporting centre’s address at the Carlisle Business Centre, published on the leaflet, and was informed it had closed down three years earlier. Other contact details for BHCA were out of date.
Yesterday, Superintendent Angela Williams, of Bradford South Police, said: “I have requested that material on the pubic enquiry desk at Lawcroft House Police Station is checked to ensure that it is up to date and valid.”
West Yorkshire’s Deputy Chief Constable John Parkinson said the Force was very serious about following through on hate crime reporting.
He said it intended to respond positively to JUST, outlining what it was doing and considering whether the processes needed to be reviewed.