Initiation of a Multidisciplinary Unit for Victims of Hate Crime/Speech

The main aim of this project is to increase awareness on hate crimes and hate speech and reduce the number of victims that suffer from such irresponsible actions. More specifically, this project aims to raise awareness among victims and the general public to report hate crimes and hate speech and have access to several services under one roof provided by more professional and trained personnel.

The objectives include:

✓ To strengthen multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary cooperation, enabling relevant professionals to collaborate and respond to hate crime and hate speech effectively;

✓ To develop and implement training programmes between professionals from various sectors who come into contact with potential victims, thus ascertaining an upgrade in the quality of services;

✓ To raise awareness and encourage victims and potential victims, witnesses and bystanders to report hate/speech crime;

✓ To train the trainer for a wider multiplier effect;

✓ To exchange best practices within the European Union (EU).

Victim Support Europe’s role in the project:
WORK PACKAGE 5 ‘Training and Data Gathering’

Training given to police officers and front-liners will better equip the persons working at the Multidisciplinary Unit, thus rendering a better service for all victims of hate crime/speech that make use of this service. The specific objectives of this measure include:

• Training programs for police officers in order to have a clear-cut structure of identifying bias indicators, coordinated by the multidisciplinary unit

• Establishing an efficient reporting system

• The introduction of a mechanism that disaggregates data on hate crime incidents is necessary in order to monitor the effectiveness of the criminal justice system

• Enhancing cooperation within civil society organisations relating to the recording of hate crime data

Innovative aspects of this project

The proposed project is innovative, as although Malta ranks high on the Eurobarometer in relation to hate crime/speech, there is not a legislative system is in place and there is no official structure that focuses on victims of hate crime/speech, by offering all the services required by victims and their family members. For this reason, the project will establish the creation of a new entity that will specifically focus on victims of hate speech/crime and will strengthen other national government departments to address in a better manner hate crime/hate speech. This pilot project will also start the important process of data collation, which to date is not being catered for in Malta. The project has been designed on the success stories of other EU member states and the good practices will be shared with other EU Member States.

The expected results of this project are fivefold

1. A functioning Multidisciplinary ‘one stop shop’ offering a vast range of services to victims of Hate Crime/Speech;

2. Trained professionals ready to support victims and potential victims and work with other professionals from other sectors and disciplines;

3. Increasing reporting and referrals across sectors and disciplines;

4. Introducing a bias indicator system to identify Hate Crime/Speech;

5. Introducing a specific system for the Malta Police Force to record Hate Crime.

Co-funded by

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Victim Support Europe and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.