16 October 2019
Kensington resident Baldeep is using 2019’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week to reassure victims of hate crime that they are not alone.
After being subjected to racist abuse at work, Baldeep was referred to Victim Support where a dedicated case worker funded by Kensington and Chelsea Council helped him to come to terms with the offence and find the strength to pursue justice.
Baldeep shared his story with us and is encouraging all members of the community to be aware of what constitutes a hate crime and how to report it…
Kensington and Chelsea resident Baldeep was a happy and respected manager at a home goods company when a series of sinister phone calls turned his world upside down.
An unknown caller began ringing Baldeep’s workplace, subjecting him to racial abuse and threatening to “come and get him” or bomb his house.
Unsurprisingly, the menacing calls – which Baldeep was logging – began to take a toll. He was anxious about going to work, scared of leaving at night and heading into the poorly-lit car park and worried that the caller might know where he lived and pose a threat to his partner and children.
Experiencing difficulties sleeping and finding it harder to focus at work, Baldeep reported the situation to the police and his management – who identified the caller’s number as belonging to a former employee who had made racist remarks to Baldeep before being fired months earlier.
Baldeep feared this ex-employee blamed him for being fired and might now be looking to harm him. Struggling to explain exactly how the incident had affected him, he accepted a referral from the police to Victim Support where he was able to talk face-to-face with a dedicated case worker.
The sessions helped Baldeep understand what hate crimes are and the case worker prepared a letter of support to educate Baldeep’s management team on what he was experiencing.
A few weeks later, Baldeep received a call from the officer in charge informing him that the alleged perpetrator was asked to come in for an interview. This was good news, but also led to additional stress. What if the alleged perpetrator denied everything? What if they got away with no consequences at all?
Thankfully, the person admitted to making the calls and Baldeep was asked whether he would like to press charges or accept an apology. Although he wished to leave the situation behind him, he wanted to make sure that no-one gets away with racism and so the case went to court.
The perpetrator pleaded guilty and was given a community service order, a fine and an order to pay court fees. He was also ordered not to contact Baldeep.
Baldeep was happy with the outcome and that he made the decision to report the crime and involve other agencies. Most of all, he was pleased to have closure and to be able to return to normal life.
Hate crime is against the law. You do not have to tolerate hate crime and reporting any incident, no matter how minor can make a difference.
By reporting these incidents, you may be able to prevent them from happening again. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.