The term ‘hate crime’ can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
These aspects of a person’s identity are known as ‘protected characteristics’. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator can also be a friend, carer or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose.
The Sikh Helpline is able to provide advice & guidance on various issues including Mental Health, Grooming, Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Substance Abuse (Drugs&Alcohol), Relationship Issues (in-laws,parents,friends,
Discrimination within the UK is unfortunately a problem that people of various backgrounds face on a daily basis. The Sikh Helpline, along with many other organisations, were able to assist when a video went viral across the UK of a young Sikh boy being violently physically attacked by 2 other boys, who were targeting him because of his appearance (Patka/long hair). During the fight, the victim is grabbed in a headlock and his turban is left hanging off. Others are heard laughing at him, before the boy is pushed to the ground, pinned down and punched repeatedly on the back of the head. In the video – no one was seen to be trying to stop the fight. Charlton School in Telford, Shropshire, confirmed the incident, after school on November 13, involved ‘a number’ of its students. It said it had ‘taken swift, immediate and appropriate action, including sanctions and targeted intervention for the perpetrators’.
The Sikh Helpline also contacted the school to make them aware of the incident, and provided some advice and support for the victim’s family.
Over the years there have been several other racially motivated attacks against Sikhs in the UK. In fact, such crimes are on the increase. Government figures show 117 hate crimes were recorded against Sikhs in 2017-2018 compared to 202 in 2019-2020. That’s an increase of 70% in the last two years, according to Home Office figures. And this may only be the tip of the iceberg.
Britain’s first female Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill, said: “The scale of hate crimes targeting the Sikh community is a phenomenon that is largely invisible to the Government and the wider public.” She added: “The increased reporting is the result of Sikh community organisations raising awareness of the need to report and has been achieved with no government funding or support.”
Please give us any details of hate crimes you have witnessed or have been affected by (recently, or from the past) in the form below.