A conference looking at why victims in Fife are not reporting incidents of racism and hate crime is being held in Kirkcaldy next month.
The event has been organised by members of Fairness Race Awareness and Equality Fife (FRAE Fife) and is being held to highlight the gap between the numbers of racism and hate crimes taking place and the number being recorded.
FRAE Fife members feel a lot of victims are not reporting such crimes and they are asking why. It’s hoped the Fife Racism and Hate Crime conference will help to increase the confidence of those affected to come forward and report incidents as well as promote third party reporting centres across Fife.
A number of local organisations have been invited and guest speakers at the event will include David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP and Shona Robison, the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, who is representing the Scottish Government.
FRAE Fife was established in 1999 with the aims of challenging racism and empowering black and minority ethnic communities in Fife.
Ade Johnson, FRAE Fife community development officer, told The Press: “Over the years we have seen a decline in the number of racism and hate crime/incident reported. Yet during FRAE Fife meetings with the Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities, we are informed of an increase in racism and hate crime/incidents.
“It is known there is a gap between the numbers of racism and hate crimes incidents occurring and the number recorded. The big question is: why are victims not reporting?
“FRAE Fife wants to take a more pro-active and robust approach to racism and hate crime/incident reporting.
“This is why we are hosting the conference, with organisations and community groups across Fife.”
He said the event will help to increase the confidence of those affected to come forward and report incidents: “It is important to have an awareness day to show there is a zero tolerance to such crimes.”
David Torrance MSP said only a few incidents of racism locally have been brought to his attention such as the recent attack on Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre, which are to be deplored.
He said: “I am pleased to have been asked to talk at the conference on this very important issue. It is essential to emphasise the Scottish Government’s zero tolerance approach to this type of crime which I fully support.” The conference is taking place in the Old Kirk on September 19 from 9.15 a.m to 2.30 p.m.