A scheme where people with racist views have their beliefs challenged has been launched in Leeds in a bid to tackle growing concerns about hate crime.
The charity Voluntary Action Leeds has been awarded £28,000 of Home Office funding for the project and will develop guidance for organisations that work with young people with racist views.
Nationally, more than £700,000 is being handed out to support schemes tackling hate crime in communities and protect places of worship, in a move announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Nine community projects will get £300,000 for schemes to help tackle specific types of hate crime, while £405,000 has been awarded to 59 places of worship, including 45 churches, 12 mosques, one Hindu temple and one gurdwara, to help pay for security measures such as CCTV or protective fencing.
Mrs Rudd said: “This funding is the latest step in this Government’s mission to stamp out all types of hate crime, which has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone.
“These innovative community schemes will help local groups get to the heart of the issue in their area and show others what can be done to tackle hate crime. Alongside this, the security funding will help protect a cross-section of faiths from attack.
“Working together we can beat hatred which is why we brought together experts and representatives of those affected by religious hate crime to discuss what is currently being done and what more we can do.”
Last month, a West Yorkshire campaign group warned that casual racism is becoming the norm in schools, workplaces and public spaces in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
JUST West Yorkshire, which describes itself as promoting racial justice, civil liberties and human rights in the North of England’, made the claim after new figures showed race or religious hate crimes recorded by police nationally jumped by more than two fifths in the wake of the EU referendum.
Government figures revealed recently that the number of racist incidents recorded by West Yorkshire Police has risen by 30 per cent in the last year.
The force recorded 3,676 incidents perceived to be racist either by the victim or another person in 2015/16, an increase of 859 from the previous year’s total.
In September, police launched an investigation after a Polish man was attacked by a gang of up to 20 youths in Leeds in a suspected racially motivated assault.
The 28-year-old victim was left with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, after he was kicked and punched by the gang in Beeston.