The Community Security Trust has launched a joint initiative with a leading British Muslim support group to offer advice for victims and witnesses of hate crime.
A guidebook, written in collaboration with the Tell MAMA organisation and backed by the Crown Prosecution Service, also includes details of how to navigate the criminal justice system and understand the law and processes of the UK court system.
The CST said it was an “important tool” in tackling a rising tide of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the UK.
Though the guide has a focus on antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred, its advice can, be used by anybody who has suffered any kind of hate crime, which can occur due to race, religion, sexuality, age, disability, gender or any other characteristic.
David Delew, CST chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to combat all forms of hate crime and hate incidents, levels of antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred in the UK are unfortunately on the rise.
“CST works hard to protect, support and inform victims of antisemitism.
“This collaborative guide will be an important tool for all those affected by hate crime in understanding their rights, and how to navigate the complicated criminal justice system.”
Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, also praised the launch of the guide, saying: “We want communities and individuals to have the confidence to come forward and report these offences, no matter how minor they may appear.
“This guide is an important way of ensuring that victims can make informed decisions about the most appropriate course of action, taking account of their particular personal circumstances.
“Hate crime divides communities and the CPS has an absolute commitment to bring perpetrators to justice and support victims and witnessed through the criminal justice system.”
Iman Atta OBE, Tell MAMA director, added: “We stand together with other communities in working to counter hatred, intolerance and bigotry.”
CST said it was proud of its close relationship with Tell MAMA.
They plan to make the new guide available in public areas of police stations and courts that are in relevant neighbourhoods.
CST will also make the guide available to shuls and community centres which request copies.
On Monday the CPS issued new guidelines requiring online hate crime to be treated as seriously as face-to-face offences.
The revised guidelines mean prosecutors will seek more severe penalties for abuse on social media.