Council's efforts to tackle hate and violence in Tower Hamlets wins national award

Tower Hamlets Council accepts LGC team of the year award

Tower Hamlets Council accepts the LGC team of the year award

Tower Hamlets Council’s leading efforts to prevent hate and violence against women and girls have been recognised at the Local Government Chronicle’s (LGC) Awards ceremony.

The council’s violence against women and girls (VAWG), domestic abuse and hate crime team took home the prestigious national ‘team of the year’ prize for its work in tackling these issues.

This is the second year in a row a team within the council’s community safety area has won this award, with its substance misuse team named the LGC team of the year in 2018.

This year’s winning team is focused on support and protection for victims, working with partner organisations and community champions to ensure enforcement action is taken against perpetrators, and more broadly, educating, raising awareness and challenging discrimination. This includes coordinating:

  • The No Place for Hate campaign, which has gained national recognition for tackling hatred, intolerance and prejudice. It has reached thousands of people in the community and delivers training for ‘champions’.
  • Multi-agency safety planning and risk management of the highest risk domestic abuse cases in the borough. This partnership work is reducing repeat victimisation and was recognised in a recent OFSTED report.
  • The Sanctuary Project, which provides tailored home security and safety to victims of domestic abuse who wish to remain in their own home (with the offender excluded). It prevents homelessness, enables a sense of security and reduces upheaval to families. In 2017-18, 60 families were protected through this project.
  • Domestic abuse ‘one stop shop’ sessions to minimise the number of times a victim has to re-tell their story to multiple agencies. The team delivered 51 sessions in 2017-2018.
  • Support and safeguarding for victims through commissioning specialist trained caseworkers at Victim Support. The satisfaction rate for service users was 92 per cent with the specialist domestic abuse court seeing a 72 per cent domestic abuse conviction rate (in 2017).
  • A VAWG charter and a schools pledge to help tackle this issue over the long term. The charter sets out the council’s commitment to tackling gender based violence.
  • 16 days of action against gender discrimination including community outreach, training and awareness.
  • An innovative female genital mutilation project to increase reporting, which received 90 referrals in its first year.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “This vital work makes a tangible difference to the survivors of violence against women and girls, hate crime and domestic abuse, and I’m pleased to see the team recognised at a national level. Protecting women and girls who experience gender-based violence, stamping out intolerance and rejecting divisive groups that spread hate is as important as ever. In Tower Hamlets, the diversity of our communities is one of our greatest strengths.”

Councillor Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equality said: “It’s great to see this wonderful team once again win the team of the year award. They work tirelessly to tackle all types of violence, abuse and hate. Their work is vitally important in tackling these issues and making sure Tower Hamlets is No Place for Hate.”

The LGC awards were held at Grosvenor House in London on 13 March, and saw more than 1,000 senior figures in British local government come together to celebrate the innovative work happening in the sector.

Tower Hamlets Council’s work was also recognised by the LGC in three other areas:

  • The council received a highly commended award in the business transformation category for its work to support the most vulnerable people in the borough to access and move on from hostel accommodation. This was for innovative work to reconfigure the council’s commissioned hostel services and improve the assistance provided. This includes renovating and improving hostels and helping people get into independent or suitable long term supported living.
  • The council’s Love Your Neighbourhood campaign was shortlisted for an environmental services award. The campaign aims to encourage civic pride and empower residents to improve where they live by: tackling littering through its Big Clean Ups; educating children about recycling; and, through the Mayor’s Neighbourhood Refresh programme, engage local people in community walks and online to identify what needs to be improved.
  • The council was also shortlisted for a public/public partnerships award with Tower Hamlets Homes. This was for partnership work tackling drug dealing and associated anti-social behaviour.

The council’s VAWG, domestic abuse and hate crime team has been widely commended for its outstanding work. The team’s other recent awards include the ‘No2H8’ national hate crime award and the ‘upstander award’ by hate crime charity HEAR.

Find out more about the No Place for Hate campaign and make your pledge.

Posted on Wednesday 20th March 2019