Under reporting of hate crime against Sikhs

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2018 National Black Members' Conference
12 September 2017

Conference notes that it is widely acknowledged that there is under-reporting of anti-Sikh hate crimes. In recent years Sikhs have been susceptible to attacks, in particular due to their distinct identity in the form of the Dastar (turban) or other religious iconography.

In some cases Sikhs are the victims of hate crimes where the perpetrators are in fact motivated by Islamophobia. British Sikhs have been invisible to the government since 9/11 despite increased levels of discrimination and hate crimes, with the political elite failing to properly represent British Sikhs and the issues that concern them. Sikh men are more vulnerable than women and the most common places where discrimination is experienced are airports and on public transport.

Hate crime is not and never will be acceptable in Britain, however, it is important that mechanisms exist for accurately recording anti-Sikh hate crimes in order to effectively challenge them as well as providing support for the victims and their families.

Sikh Aware UK, is the first ever hate crime monitoring platform for the Sikh community in the UK and has been formed in partnership with organisations such as Network of Sikh Organisations, Khalsa Foundation, City Sikhs, Metropolitan Police Sikh Association, West Midlands Police Sikh Association, Home Office Sikh Association, Sikh Network, Sikh Helpline, Sikh Women’s Alliance and Gursevak Trust.

Sikhs will be able to access Sikh Aware UK online to log anti-Sikh hate, discrimination, harassment and racism in all forms including all incidents of hatred where Sikhs are victims, however this needs to be promoted widely in order that hate crimes against Sikhs are correctly recorded and acted on.

Conference is pleased that UNISON is:

1)Developing a campaign leaflet and bargaining fact sheet that outlines what Hate Crime is and signposting victims for support.

2)Holding a Hate Crime Workshop that will update on this work and give a real initiative and focus on what action can be taken for victims of hate crime.

In order to assist with this further, conference therefore calls upon the National Black Members’ Committee to:

a)Promote Sikh Aware UK through Black Action, InFocus and other UNISON publications, along with other affiliated organisations that support UNISON’s campaign;

b)Explore with UNISON’s Labour Link Forum and other bodies such as Sikh Network how we can ensure all hate crime is correctly reported and signpost victims for support;

c)Encourage support of Sikh Aware UK through our National campaigns and factsheets and guidance to regions and branches to support these activities;

d)Consider inviting a representative of the Sikh Council UK to a workshop/fringe at the 2019 Conference.