An event at the University of Northampton is set to equip students with the knowledge they need to combat online hate crime.
Government statistics show that reports of hate crimes in the UK have grown from 42,255 in 2012-13 to 62,518 in 2015-16, while following the terrorist bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in May, there was a spike in hate crime in Northamptonshire.
Meanwhile the Tell Mama anti-Muslim hate crime project has produced data showing attacks on mosques being about one a week over the past four years, while The Communist Security Trust has recorded its highest levels of anti-semitic hate crimes.
Hate crimes online have also increased via social media and students will be able to learn more about this phenomenon on Wednesday 11 October, at the Hate Crime In Cyberspace Seminar.
The event, which takes place at Park Campus, has been organised in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
One of the aims of the seminar is to highlight the importance of hate crime, its impact in cyberspace and the ways to report it.
Dr Paul Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, who will be speaking at the event, said: “Social media and other online spaces have changed the way groups promoting hatred and intolerance operate, allowing them to spread their messages much more widely, and freely.
“Things that happen online can then help to normalise intolerance in wider society too. It is crucial people find ways to respond to this growing issue, including reporting their experiences to relevant authorities and organisations like Tell Mama.”
The seminar, which runs from 1pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday 11 October, is free to attend, but those wishing to go must register in advance via the event page.