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Police forces offered valuable support with hate crime risk assessments following NTU research

Police forces in England and Wales are being offered support with hate crime risk assessments following an evidence-based research project by Nottingham Trent University.

Police officer at computer
NTU has worked with front-line officers to develop effective hate crime risk assessments

Researchers at NTU have remodelled and refined hate crime risk assessment over a four-year period with Nottinghamshire Police and are now encouraging others to learn from the valuable lessons of this work.

The risk assessment was singled out as an example of good practice in a 2018 report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), which examined police responses to hate crime in England and Wales and found a ‘postcode lottery’ of response.

With no standard risk assessment across the 43 police forces of England and Wales, there is currently no consistent standard in identifying levels of threats posed to victims, nor of the type of interventions that are carried out.

Following the HMICFRS report, police forces have been strongly encouraged to act on the recommendations in view of predicted hate crime rises in the build up to the UK’s proposed departure from the EU in March.

In 2015, NTU published The Policing of Hate Crime in Nottingham which was based on the interview accounts of front-line officers and included a specific focus on risk assessment. Following feedback gained in the research, NTU worked alongside Nottinghamshire Police’s Hate Crime Manager to implement a new risk assessment model.

Last year, a further round of fieldwork, including focus groups and interviews with front-line and senior officers, generated further insights which Nottinghamshire Police’s Hate Crime team and NTU are now using to further refine the risk assessment tool.

Co-author of the report and researcher, Dr Loretta Trickett, Associate Professor at Nottingham Law School, said: “Hate crime is a unique offence which needs specific and effective risk assessment tools. The dangers of failing to implement effective risk assessment tools have been all too apparent in previous cases. Hate crimes and incidents at the lower end of the continuum of seriousness can quickly escalate into more serious offending. As well as escalations in seriousness, the accumulative impact of lower level offences and incidents can have a devastating impact on victims.

“As such, the evidence gathered from our project has led us to recommend two risk assessment models that forces can build from. We’ve already been through the process and learned the lessons with Nottinghamshire Police, so we’re keen to support others which are looking to development risk assessment tools and management procedures.”

Police forces interested in working with NTU on a hate crime risk assessment can contact Dr Trickett via email

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey.
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

Published on 29 January 2019
  • Category: Nottingham Civic Exchange; Press office; Research; Nottingham Law School; School of Social Sciences