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Prevent attacks based on sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability

Last updated 1 month ago

We will protect people from physical attack or harassment whether for their sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability...

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.20

Our verdict

  • This is a promise to prevent violence or harassment against individuals or groups based on their perceived identity – such attacks are often referred to as “hate crimes”, or more recently as “identity-based violence”.  This policy came under increased scrutiny following the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard in London in March 2021.
  • The manifesto made no mention of a new coordinated strategy for addressing these crimes (the existing UK hate crime action plan only extended up to 2020). However, there has been a consultation on protecting places of worship; a new grant scheme has been introduced which is providing funding to organisations working to “reduce religiously and racially motivated hate crime”; the Domestic Abuse Act became law on 29 April 2021; a consultation has taken place ahead of the planned publication of a new Violence Against Women and Girls strategy in 2021; and recommendations for reform of hate crime legislation are pending, after a consultation by the Law Commission. Following the murder of Sarah Everard, on 15 March 2021, the government doubled the size of its Safer Streets Fund but was criticised for a failure to instigate more meaningful legislative changes.
  • It’s impossible to provide complete protection from attacks and harassment, and the charity Victim Support reports a spike in hate crime referrals following the easing of coronavirus lockdown measures at the end of March 2021, but the combination of the developments listed above is evidence of movement towards fulfilling this pledge, so this policy is ‘in progress’.

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.

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