Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. The Mayor’s Hate Crime Reduction Strategy for London contains three clear objectives to:
• Boost confidence and increase the reporting of hate crime;
• Prevent hate crime and reduce repeat victimisation, and
• Ensure swift and sure justice for hate crime victims.
1.2. The strategy contains 29 key actions; action 4 specifically states that MOPAC will:
work with criminal justice system partners to develop and pilot a scheme of Hate Crime Victim Advocates to support those who have been targeted and to help them to cope and recover.
1.3. The specification for the pilot was developed in partnership with criminal justice partners and draws upon the good practice established through independent domestic violence advocate schemes. The specification was also informed by feedback from a VCSE engagement event held in August 2015.
1.4. The role and purpose of the pilot scheme is to work with vulnerable and high risk victims of hate crime to:
• provide emotional and practical support;
• help them to cope and recover from the effects of the crime;
• help them to navigate their journey to a positive outcome within or outside of the criminal justice process as appropriate to the victim; and
• establish what impact such a scheme might have upon the levels of reported hate crime and of harm and repeat victimisation.
1.5. The specification was put out to tender and as a result, the pilot will be delivered through a grant award of £175,000 to the Community Alliance Combatting Hate Crime.
2. Commissioning Process
2.1. This grant award has been delivered through an open competitive process. 8 bids were received by the deadline of 30 October 2015 and these were assessed against a set of evaluation criteria published within the specification: the mobilisation plan, the proposed service model, performance and evaluation, and added valuation.
2.2. The recommendation of the panel, which was made up of representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector alongside the MOPAC lead, is to award the grant to the Community Alliance Combatting Hate Crime (CACH) to operate the pilot in Hackney and Westminster.
2.3. CACH presented a consortia bid made up of 6 specialist organisations highly capable of delivering against the key outcomes of the pilot – Galop, The community Security Trust, Tell MAMA, The Monitoring Group, Choice in Hackney and Westminster Mind). The tender outlined their extensive collective experience across London (and nationally for some of the bid partners), and across several affected communities (Black and Minority Ethnic; Disabled; Jewish; Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender; and Muslim communities). The consortia were able to demonstrate their experience and capability in developing integrated services and working in partnership at the local level, ensuring maximum value to the client. In terms of added value, the CACH consortia’s bid demonstrated that they will be well equipped to address intersectional victimisation (i.e. where a victim has been targeted because of more than one protected characteristic), put in place a structure that will help build capacity to deal with hate crime victims within the two identified disability organisations, and that they be able to take advantage of consultancy support from an organisation experienced in supporting victims of domestic abuse through independent domestic violence advocates to identify the transferrable learning from their experience.
2.4. The provider will be required to deliver a pilot that aims to test the impact of the hate crime advocate role and the delivery of the following outcomes:
• Reduction of repeat victimisation experienced by clients;
• Improved accessibility of services to communities that are underrepresented in coming forward to report and seek help;
• Client satisfaction with the service provided, a reduction in risk and increased feelings of safety;
where clients choose a criminal justice path
• consistent and timely use of Victim Personal Statements and pre-sentence reports;
• A positive impact on the attrition rate of prosecutions;
• Effective integration with other local services and organisations, maximising the value of all local provision; and
• An evidence base for scalability and sustainability of a Hate Crime Victims’ Advocates scheme.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. The CACH grant will be up to a maximum value of £175,000 as approved in DMPCD 2015 92 and will be funded from the MOPAC budget.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2. Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3. The powers in section 143 were given to MOPAC following the Government’s response to the consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses (2 July 2012) in which it set out a package of reforms to the way in which support services for victims of crime are to be provided. Section 143 creates a clear statutory basis for the proposals set out in this decision form, namely to award a range of grants as set out above for the provision of hate crime services and pilots in line with the hate crime reduction strategy.
4.4. Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 5.6). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Operating Officer is in accordance with the general power of delegation in paragraph 1.7.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. MOPAC is required to comply with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
5.2. As highlighted through the independent review of victims’ services commissioned by MOPAC and through analysis of police crime data, there are some communities that are over-represented amongst victimisation data and/or who fall within the scope of the EU Directive, i.e. victims of more serious crimes, vulnerable victims, particularly those whose circumstances make it difficult for them to access support, and repeat or persistently targeted victims, who must receive a prioritised service. In addition, the analysis indicates that those living in more deprived neighbourhoods are more likely to be targeted.
5.3. The pilot scheme detailed in this decision will target victims of all strands of hate crime, and will build capacity within a key disabled organisation, directly addressing a gap in service provision identified through MOPAC’s Independent Review of Victims Services.
5.4. In line with our over-arching approach to the commissioning and delivery of victims’ services, the additional information and data gathered through the activities described above will inform the future development and delivery of services to address the range of victim needs across London.