The Crime Of Hate Crime Essay

The Crime Of Hate Crime Essay

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What is meant by the term “hate crime”? Discuss with reference to at least one type of hate crime, paying particular attention to the social and cultural context in which some identities become targets.

Introduction (300 words)
Every year the British Crime Survey estimates there are 260,000 incidents of hate crime (Hall, 2013). The Crown Prosecution Service perceives hate crime as encompassing physical and verbal abuse including, physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson, threat of attack, verbal insults and harassment (Newburn, 2013). Hate crime embodies any criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victims: disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity (Newburn, 2013). It goes without saying that the crimes committed alone are punishable offences; however the ‘hate’ element is regarded to be identifiably different because the victim was selected because of some personal characteristic (Newburn, 2013). Wolfe and Copeland (1994: 201) develops this with the statement that hate crime is ‘violence directed towards groups of people who generally are not valued by the majority society, who suffer discrimination in other arenas, and who do not have full access to remedy social, political and economic injustice’. However, as Turpin-Petrosino (2002) reminds us, cultural differences, contrasting social norms, and varying political interests make it hard to globally define hate crime. Of the 260,000 incidents of hate crime, recorded over 2009-2011, 50,000 were linked to sexual orientation and 136,000 linked to the offenders attitude to the victims race according to the British Crime Survey (Hall, 2013). With reference to sexual orientation and ra...


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...ng society on a path progressing towards diversity acceptance. In comparison sexual orientation related hate crime is in its infancy stage in terms of research, public attitudes, and legislative changes. Since the first prosecution of a homophobic murder in the 2006 Jody Dowbrowski case, culturally we have begun to view such issues with greater importance. Commonly however, victims of both racist and homophobic hate crime must be understood as a compilation of the social and cultural context in which they have become targets. This demonstrates the acknowledgement of a holistic approach to the problem rather than simply relying on a retributive response through law and the criminal justice system. The gradual recognition of hate crime as a non-tolerable issue through mediums such as the media and legislation is setting the foundations for an all accepting future.

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The Crime Of Hate Crime Essay

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