Athens 26 October 2022
The CEPOL onsite training activity on Hate Crime took place in Heraklion, Greece between 18-21 October 2022 and it was organised by the Center of Security Studies (KEMEA).
The course aimed to enhance the police response to hate crime in general and online hate speech as a specific form of delinquency with special motives, as well as an identifiable social and psychological basis. 27 learners from various Member States, Iceland as well as from Europol participated in practical exercises, simulations, and workshops, and benefited from the knowledge and experience of their experts/trainers, including on topics of multi-sectoral cooperation, and on the involvement of the civil society and relevant stakeholders. The course supported trainers from the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), CEPOL, Victim Support Europe, University of Bremen, Democritus University of Thrace, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, as well as from experts from the Heraklion Police Division and the Forensic Medical Service of Crete and the Kavala Reception and Identification Service.
According to a Fundamental Rights Agency 2021 report, evidence points to concerning rates of non-reported bias-motivated violence and harassment against ethnic minorities; immigrants and descendants of immigrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people; Muslims; and Jews across the EU. In this regard, law enforcement authorities, victim support services and civil society organizations working in the field of hate crime victim support need to use effective tools to properly perform individual needs assessment (INA) for victims of hate crimes and to improve the hate crime reporting and recording processes.
CEPOL has been developing training activities with a focus on fundamental rights, covering topics such as hate crime and hate speech prevention. In her welcome speech to the course (delivered by Mrs Elisabeth Zinschitz, Head of Sector – CEPOL Knowledge Centres), CEPOL’s Executive Director Ms Marín López indicated that “Training on this topic for law enforcement officers is imperative considering the fact that there is an increasing need to fight this phenomenon; to fight against biases and, as a police officer, to respond to hate crime with integrity and in an effective manner. For this, there is also a need to confront ourselves with our own biases, as we all have them, even if we do not act upon them. CEPOL has been contributing to these efforts for a few years already by means of webinars and training activities on diversity, ethics and hate crime, and I can assure you that it will continue to do so in order to support your work as law enforcement officers with a view to reducing biases and promoting diversity and acceptance within law enforcement.”.
CEPOL – the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training brings together law enforcement officials across Europe with the aim to encourage cross-border cooperation in the fight against serious and organised crime and maintenance of public security and law and order. Established as an agency of the European Union (EU) in 2006, CEPOL organises between 80-100 residential activities per year, besides the online courses and the Webinars. The implementation of the residential activities takes place at the institutions of the Member States and the activities cover a wide range of topics. For more information about CEPOL, visit www.cepol.europa.eu .
The Center for Security Studies (Kentro Meleton Asfaleias – KEMEA), founded in 2005, is a scientific, consulting and research organization overseen by the Minister of Citizen Protection, governed by common law, and annually audited by chartered accountants. Its principal purpose is to conduct theoretical and applied research and studies, particularly at the strategic level, on security topics and policies, while being the think-tank of the Ministry of Citizen Protection on numerous policies such as public order, correctional services, terrorism prevention, crime prevention, integrated border management and civil protection as well as on various other security and societal issues; it also provides advisory and consulting risk-management services to an array of public and private organizations.
 “Encouraging hate crime reporting – The role of law enforcement and other authorities”, p.5. https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2021/hate-crime-reporting