David Yamba, a 10-year-old boy from Salford in Greater Manchester, says he is “too scared” to go to school after racist graffiti appeared on the front door of his home.
His father, lawyer Jackson Yamba, 38, shared an image of the door via Twitter. He claims the incident happened a week ago.
On Sunday, he said that not a single officer had arrived to investigate the potential hate crime, leaving his son “traumatised”.
“I was terrified, because my dad told me to come out, but I wanted to stay indoors because I thought someone was waiting or something was going to happen,” David said during an interview on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Wednesday.
He added that he was “too scared” to go to school “in case they are going to come back and do something worse.”
Thanks to press attention in the case, Jackson’s Twitter post went viral, prompting regional forces to apologise and prioritise the case.
My front door in Salford was painted over a week ago with this abhorrent racist graffiti – after reporting it to @gmpolice they still haven't been here to investigate. How do I assure my traumatised 10 year old that he is safe in his home? @BBCBreaking @RLong_Bailey @guardian pic.twitter.com/WjGEz9rT7e
— Jackson Yamba (@JacksonYamba) February 16, 2019
“When the police finally arrived I felt more comfortable that they were searching for the person who had done it, because at the start I thought they were still waiting there,” David added.
The police are now investigating the case as a hate crime.
What Is A Hate Crime?
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the term “hate crime” can be used to describe a “range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.”
These different aspects that make up a person’s identity are known as “protected characteristics”.
Behaviours that constitute a hate crime under UK law include verbal abuse, threats, harassment, bullying, assault, intimidation and damage to property – like graffiti.
Image credit: Twitter/JacksonYamba
Incitement to hatred of individuals with protected characteristics is also a hate crime.
A perpetrator of a hate crime isn’t necessarily a stranger. They can be a carer, a friend, or an acquaintance.
“Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police,” the Met Police advise.
“Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate-related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate-related.”
How Does UK Law Respond To Hate Crimes?
According to the Government’s Law Commission, the law responds to hate crime in the following ways:
- Additional “aggravated” offences with longer sentences in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 if an offender demonstrated hostility or was motivated by hostility based on race or religion.
- Prohibiting conduct that is likely to stir up hatred on grounds of race, or intended to do so on grounds of religion or sexual orientation in the Public Order Act 1986.
- Enhanced sentencing under sections 145 and 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 if hostility is motivated by any of the five protected characteristics.
- The provision of Sentencing guidelines. Section 125(1) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 requires that a sentencing judge must follow any sentencing guideline which is relevant to their case. This includes, for example, consideration of whether the offence was motivated by racial or religious hostility, or if it was motivated by or demonstrated hostility towards the victim based on one or more of a number of such as the victims’ age, sex, gender identity (or presumed gender identity), disability (or presumed disability) or sexual orientation.
It is scheduled to start consulting on whether hate crime legislation should be extended this year.
What Human Rights Laws Protect David From Racism?
Article 14 of the Human Rights Act states that all the rights and freedoms afforded to individuals by the Act must be protected and applied without discrimination.
Discrimination arises when someone is treated less fairly than another person in a similar situation without reasonable justification. It can also occur if you are disadvantaged by being treated the same as another person despite having different circumstances (for example if someone is pregnant or disabled).
Under the Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against someone on grounds including gender, race, colour, language, religion, national or social origin, property, birth, and more.
The Equality Act 2010 also offers more general protection against discrimination.