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BBC Radio 4 are recording a "Question Time" style debate on Hate Crime to be aired on Sophie's 4th anniversary, and we would like you to be a part of this programme

To follow up the issues raised by this production, Radio 4 plan to broadcast 'The Black Roses Debate' at 8 pm on August 24th. This will be a 43-minute discussion in the 'Question Time' format, presented by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts. The debate will involve members of an invited studio audience and a panel including Sophie's mother, Mrs Sylvia Lancaster.

The debate will be recorded at BBC Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester in the evening of Tuesday August 23rd at 6pm

The issues for discussion include:

  • Was Sophie's murder an exceptional crime or was it typical of a wider problem of unprovoked attacks on strangers?
  • Hate-crime in the UK now includes offences motivated by prejudice about the victim's race, religion, sexuality or disability. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is campaigning to extend the definition of hate crime to include offences motivated by hatred of sub-cultural groups. How could these be defined?
  • If hate crimes ranging from verbal abuse to murder are commonplace, is the situation worse or better than it was a generation or two generations back?
  • How has the authorities response to these crimes changed during that time?
  • Were the authorities hampered by legal constraints in their attempts to deal appropriately with what happened in Sophie's case? Would changes in the law be useful in similar cases?
  • Is there anything to be gained from trying to understand the mental processes that lead to such crimes? Can anything be done to reform such criminals either before or after they've offended?
  • Would harsher sentences act as a deterrent to hate-criminals or would they make no difference?
  • Should the severity of a sentence be increased because a crime was motivated by prejudice? If so, why do we apply this rule to some prejudices and not others?

If you'd like to be part of the audience at this event and have the chance to speak about hate-crime on BBC Radio 4, please get in touch to arrange tickets.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you.