Reading Hate Crime Forum and Scrutiny Panel for 2024

Acre’s Hate Crime Forum is an open voluntary & community sector led support meeting that takes place biannually and reviews information on hate crime in Reading, collated by Reading Police (TVP) specifically the Community and Diversity Officer (CADO). The scrutiny panel also meets biannually. It is a smaller group with the involvement of individuals providing effective scrutiny, support or expertise, directly or indirectly with the information on Hate Crime provided by the CADO.

What is Hate Crime?

Hate Crime is: “A criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s actual or perceived race, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation and transgender.”

Anyone can be a victim of hate crime; it is an issue which can affect us all and can have much wider consequences for communities. All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable and those who commit these crimes should be met with the full force of the law.

Recent Hate Crime Forum Meetings

  1. “Understanding the Role of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)” – November 30, 2022 – at Acre from 6.30-8.30pm.

Invited guests – Superintendent Steve Raffield -Reading LPA Commander and Mutahir Ahmed and Mandy Saxon from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Attendance -25

  1. A Special Forum Consultation Meeting on the Police Race Action Plan (PRAP) – March 23, 2023 – Invited Guest – Superintendent James Hahn (PRAP Lead) – Attendance – 28

This was held to discuss the importance of the PRAP to build an anti-racist police service here in Reading and the ways we could support it. Acre has invited local police officers and PCSOs to attend its regular open Tuesday coffee mornings on a regular basis to get to know the diverse communities and give presentations on issues concerning Oxford Road.

  1. “Who do you Call? Police? Or Mental health Services?” – Thursday September 28 2023

The discussion was around the Police attending Mental Health calls. The key speakers were Superintendent Steve Raffield – Reading LPA Commander and Cecily Mwaniki -Community Engagement lead from NHS BHFT.

Attendance -15

The Key Question was “Are Police officers being diverted from crime fighting to do work mental health staff are better trained for?”

The main point emphasised was that Mental health is not just a Police issue but that other professionals and the Police need to work together in the best interests of the patient/victim. Officers will not automatically detain the person and take him/her to Prospect Park Hospital or other place of safety but will engage with professionals and seek assistance from Approved MH professionals first to find the best way to assist the person/victim.

If you would like to attend please write to

The next Hate Crime Forum is scheduled for February 2024 (tbc)

George Mathew

Acre Hate Crime Lead