THE SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION

Lynne Featherstone MP: Equalities Minister 2012

The ACPO Hate Crime Conference: March 2012

"More Than Just Five Strands"

'Before I talk to you about the Government's approach, I wanted to mention that our five strands of monitored hate crime: Race, Faith, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Perceived Disability, are not a complete list.

A tragic example of the importance of this is the murder in 2007 of Sophie Lancaster, who was attacked alongside her boyfriend Robert Maltby because the offenders took issue with their appearance. The sentencing Judge correctly referred to the case as a hate crime and in doing so highlighted the importance of ensuring that all victims of crimes motivated by prejudice receive the justice they deserve. It is essential that the lessons learned on monitored hate crime apply to any local or emerging hostility that concerns our communities.

The work that Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie's Mother has done to challenge the bigotry that fuels such attacks is hugely welcomed. I have great admiration for Sylvia, another member of our group who will be outlining her work today."