Police officers from 15 European countries are gathering in London for training on responding to hate crimes. At the conclusion of the four-day program a new initiative on sharing information region-wide will be announced.
“Hate crimes threaten communities in a manner that few other crimes do,” said Paul Goldenberg, an internationally recognized law-enforcement expert affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, who will head the training seminar. “When hate crimes are not vigorously investigated and prosecuted, there are extreme costs, not only to the victims of hate crimes, but also to society at large.”
The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is organizing the seminar. It will take place in London from November 19 to 23.
“The Transnational Hate Crime Intelligence and Information Network will be launched on November 23,” said Goldenberg. The new network will provide training and technical assistance to OSCE member-states, and facilitate the exchange of information and intelligence on hate symbols and organized hate groups.
Currently, there is no comprehensive turnkey transnational law enforcement information-sharing program in Europe that adequately addresses bias incidents and hate crimes, he said.
The OSCE appointed Goldenberg, AJC’s senior adviser on international law enforcement issues, four years ago, at the recommendation of Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Chris Smith, to manage the intensive hate crimes prevention and response training program. Croatia, Hungary, Spain and Ukraine have already implemented the program, and other European countries are expected to participate.
“This is the only transnational government-sponsored program law enforcement program engaged in hate crime training in all of Europe,” Goldenberg said. “We are bringing together many law enforcement executives from countries where there has been a market rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.”
Participants in the London program are coming from Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.