Ethnicity and racial harassment

Findings using Understanding Society contrbuted to select committee inquiry evidence.


Findings from ongoing research, using Understanding Society data, were submitted as written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into hate crime and its violent consequences. The inquiry was announced “following a number of deeply concerning and tragic incidents, such as the appalling murder of Jo Cox and racially motivated attacks against individuals following the EU referendum result” (The Chair of the Committee, RT Hon Keith Vaz MP).

The unexpected announcement of the 2017 General Election limited the inquiry’s recommendations in that Parliament. The Committee hopes, however, that the successor committee in the next Parliament will continue their work. The General Election also stalled the Government response to the committee’s report.

Findings from this research were also presented to health care professionals, local police, and leaders of third sector organisations that serve minority populations in Bradford. This stakeholder event was organised by the Quest for Economic Development (QED)

Alita Nandi and Renee Luthra also conducted training sessions for investigators in the Independent Office for Police Conduct in their London offices. Investigators reported that the new information on harassment prevalence and its mental health consequences was important for them to be aware of when interviewing ethnic minority clients.

This research resonates strongly with both six form college and University students, and Renee Luthra has presented this work in lectures and Open Day presentations which teach about the difference in statistical estimates of crime that derive from surveys as opposed to police reports.

Findings from the research

The research found that last year around 10 per cent of ethnic minority people reported experiencing ethnic and racial harassment. Further, almost twice as many ethnic minority people felt unsafe or avoiding public places. Experiencing ethnic and racial harassment, or fearing it, was associated with poorer mental health.

The research also highlighted the very few sources of resilience available to ethnic minorities to protect against the poor mental health associated with harassment.

Further information

The written evidence submitted to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry.

The research, on which this evidence is based, can be found here: