THE SOPHIE LANCASTER FOUNDATION

Hate Crime

We understand the shock and horror of being a victim of a hate crime or incident and want you to get the much needed help and support as soon as possible.

We regularly speak to victims and signpost them to where they can report and seek help. Unfortunately at this current time we are unable to offer more than understanding and moral support but we work with over a third of the UK police authorities so that they have a better understanding of your experience.

The first place is always the police – it is important that they are aware that you have been a victim so they can report your experience. You can report a hate crime on the phone or online with the local police authority and nationally through the government’s True Vision reporting site. Many victims feel better when they have told someone – they want to be heard.

The police can refer to ‘Victims Support’ who can offer the support needed following a crime or incident. For more specialist hate crime focussed help Stop Hate UK offer a service in some areas of England.

Sylvia has been a member of the Cross Party Independent Hate Crime Advisory Group to the UK Government since 2010. This places her at the heart of consultation and decision making. This role allows for the opportunity to discuss the issues around alternative hate crime at the most senior level.

Sophie: The Face of Hate Crime

sophie lancaster in hospitalSophie's murder was treated as a Hate Crime by Judge Russell who sentenced the murderers accordingly. Under the current UK Hate Crime Legislation (Section 146), as the motivation behind the murder was hateful, he was able to use his discretion to class it as a Hate Crime.

We are working to have "Alternative Subcultures" or "Lifestyle and Dress Code" added to the reportable Hate Crime strands to ensure that it is not a discretionary option but equal to the existing strands which are:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Homophobia
  • Transgender

The Perpetrators

brendan harrisryan herbertoffenders

Brendan Haris, Ryan Herbert, Joe Hulme, Danny Hulme, Danny Mallet

Following Sophie’s death on the 24th August 2007, five teenage boys were charged with her murder and attack on Robert, however on the first day of the trail in March 2008, Ryan Herbert pleaded “Guilty” to Sophie’s murder and Brendan Harris pleaded “Not Guilty” and was sent to trial. The murder charges were dropped on the remaining three – Joseph and Daniel Hulme and Daniel Mallet as all five had pleaded guilty to Section 18 Assault (with intent)

After a two week trial Harris was found guilty by the jury at Preston Crown Court.

At the sentencing on 28th April 2008, Judge Russell gave the teenagers indefinite sentences for pubic protection (IPP) as “dangerous” offenders and treated it as a hate crime using Section 146.

The sentences were:

  • Ryan Herbert 16 years 3 months (later reduced by 9 months on appeal)
  • Brendan Harris 18 years
  • Joseph Hulme – 5 years 10 months
  • Daniel Hulme – 5 years 10 months
  • Daniel Mallett – 4 years 4 months

Key moments

Lynne Featherstone MP: Equalities Minister 2012

The ACPO Hate Crime Conference: March 2012

"More Than Just Five Strands"

Read more here

SOPHIE Hold The World's First Alternative Hate Crime Conference - November 2014

Sylvia welcomed our delegates and guest speakers to the conference where we explored "Alternative Solutions to Hate Crime"

The day started with a film of the new Home Office Minister, Lynn Featherstone, who, as she was unable to attend, recorded her presentation in which she explained how there are more than five strands to hate crime and the how work of the Foundation provides a holistic approach to raising awareness and challenging thinking.

Read more

The Government Hate Crime Action Plan

Challenge it, report it, stop it - A report on Hate Crime

GMP Monitor and Record Alternative Hate Crime

Following months of work with Greater Manchester Police and their partners, from April 2013 Hate Crimes against people from Alternative Subcultures will be recorded as a crime by GMP in the same capacity as disability, racist, religious sexual orientation and transgender hate crime to provide better support to victims and repeat victims.

Read more

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015

We were proud to take such a central part in both Leicestershire NHS and Warwickshire Police HCAW events.

Read more

Definition of Alternative Subculture

“Alternative Subculture means a discernible group that is characterized by a strong sense of collective identity and a set of group-specific values and tastes that typically centre on distinctive style/clothing, make- up, body art and music preferences.

Those involved usually stand out in the sense their distinctiveness is discernible both to fellow participants and to those outside the group. Groups that typically place themselves under the umbrella of “alternative” include Goths, emos, punks, metalllers and some variants of hippie and dance culture (although this list is not exhaustive).”

Sylvia Lancaster OBE
Professor Jon Garland
Dr Paul Hodkinson
March 2013

Help Information

Have you been a victim of hate crime? - if so, here is what you should do first

Call 101 or 999 in an emergency

Contact: