- Hate crimes
- Complex and difficult cases which most organisations refuse to deal with because they are ill equipped to help the victims
- Third Party Reporting
- Employment and Discrimination
KREC works on Casework and provides support for all clients who want to use our services, Listening, Counselling and advising them on discrimination, harassment, victimisation, bullying and under all the nine Protected Characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 We help draft complaints and appeal letters, facilitating and mediation discussions between different parties and working with partners and other agencies to bring about solutions.
KREC helps raise awareness on all the above issues too because we come across a number of people who do not realise they can exercise their legal and other rights in these circumstances.
KREC deals with many types of casework.
Hate Crime casework remains a key part of our work. KREC has worked on many Hate crime cases since it was set up. A large number of cases continue to be Race related. We also continue to increase the awareness of clients from other Hate crime groups and provide support for these groups. Cases involve social housing tenants, owner-occupiers, leaseholders, rented housing etc. Social housing tenants tend to be the majority and we manage these by working with the Local Authority or Housing Association. Cases with owner occupiers and leaseholders are a lot more challenging, as they are not covered by Local Authority procedures.
KREC also dealt with cases regarded as “low level” by authorities but are regarded as persistent harassment between private owner-occupiers. These cases are complex and difficult to address, as there is usually no hard evidence such as witnesses, forensic evidence, CCTV footage to use to support complainants and tackle or prosecute perpetrators.
KREC takes referrals from all areas including self-referral from victims of Hate crimes. We want to revive referral agreements with the Police, Local Authorities, Health Providers, Social Housing Sector and the Community and Voluntary Sector organisations.
Complex and Difficult cases:
KREC deals with some cases which are very complex and difficult with a multi-faceted set of issues needing to be addressed. Most advice and support giving organisations refuse to deal with these cases. KREC takes on these complex cases because most organisations are not equipped or do not have the expertise to help these victims.
Third Party Reporting:
KREC developed the strategy on Third Party reporting and Centres were set up to take reports of Hate crime. These cases are referred on to KREC for attention and action by the third party reporting centres.
Employment and Discrimination:
KREC works with organisations to raise awareness and help develop, review, evaluate and monitor policies to prevent discrimination; KREC also works with Employers and offers advice and support on Employment Discrimination.
Due to legislation changes in 2014, KREC now only provides advice and support for cases of employment discrimination, but does not take cases to Employment Tribunals due to the changes in Employment Legislation. Most referrals come directly to KREC and others from agencies – both Statutory, Community and Voluntary Sector. KREC provides technical advice and support to these clients, writes letters to their employers, drafts grievance letters or responds to disciplinary complaints, etc. KREC has also developed a good working relationship with Citizens Advice Kingston and other referral agencies and works with the Advisers Working Together (AWT) Project, to refer clients between agencies or sign posts them to others around the region.
KREC works with a number of pupils, students and parents. A number of schools where pupils who have been harassed and bullied by other pupils have been referred to KREC by the school or a parent. There is usually difficulties satisfying parents and harassed pupils where the perpetrators appear not to have been given the appropriate sanctions and that the school seemed not to have supported the victim adequately. In these circumstances KREC offers support and advocacy services to the family. KREC promotes mediation to reassure parents, pupils and teachers and facilitates meetings to defuse difficult positions. These processes have improved relationships between KREC, school teachers, pupils and parents.
Complainant experienced racist abuse and harassment from a Volunteer at her place of employment. Employee was subsequently told to draw a line under the incident after an investigation. Her Probation period was extended because she wanted the racist incident dealt with. Employee found out that during the investigation she was given a temporary Zero hours and Part-time contract, whilst a White Female colleague employed on the same day with the same duties was given a full-time permanent contract which had no zero hours. Employee was forced to resign and claimed Constructive dismissal. KREC advised and helped her to make an application to the Employment Tribunal and ACAS got involved to mediate between complainant and her Employer, a Large Kingston Charity.
KREC liaised with ACAS and represented the complainant, submitting relevant documents which had not been made available by the Employer. The Employer after protracted liaison with ACAS and seeking extensions for deliberate decided to offer employee reference but no acceptance that there has been wrong-doing. Employee also complained to the CEO of RBK and the Leader of the Council alleging race discrimination at this local Charity and bad employment practice. KREC raised the complaint at the RBK Equalities Forum seeking action and results of the investigation.
- Complainant was asked to pay to submit her full application to the Employment Tribunal which she could not afford. As a result she could not pursue the case further
- RBK informed KREC and Complainant that an investigation had been launched but to date there is no further information on the outcome of the investigation
- A meeting is being organised between RBK Equalities Officer, Head of Commissioning and KREC to establish what learning can come from this case for future action
KREC works with other agencies to tackle inequality and discrimination at a strategic level.
KREC focuses on ensuring that Public, Private and Voluntary and Community Sector and Civil society organisations and individual citizens can hold Local Councillors and Government to account, both by working together, and by ensuring the data and transparency agendas focus on Equality. One such policy and project work, Kingston Race Equality Scorecard, was highly commended by Business in the Community.
KREC’s work seeks to identify challenges to Race and Equalities in the Criminal Justice system and offer solutions to them. Our strategies include analysis on Hate Crimes and ASBOS, and their impact on communities, examination of how prevention strategies can be applied to reduce racist and violent crime, campaign against disproportionality in stop and search, and analyses of BAME groups as suspects in the populations.
KREC seeks to work with communities, policy makers and senior police officers to ensure that reforms to the police service are fair and inclusive.
KREC advocates that racial equality must be a primary and intrinsic part of any integration or cohesion strategies.
KREC challenges inequalities in Education, Employment, Housing and Health for all residents in our local area of benefit and the region with data from Local Authorities, and continue to analyse these data to understand the nature of ethnic inequalities, and how we can respond to them.
KREC campaigns for tolerance, freedom of speech and equality during local and national elections; we work to hold Political Parties to account during election campaigns and challenge the activities of Far Right organisations and extremist views.
Listed below are some of the policy areas:
- Human Rights
- Children’s Safeguarding/ Protection
- Adult Safeguarding
We also work with people/organisations to guide/support them with matters relating to:
- Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Honour Killing/ Honour Based Violence (HBV)
- Religious/Faith Abuse (ie witchcraft/ exorcism)
- Forced Marriage
KREC promotes all its work by getting invited by agencies and supporting campaigns and initiatives to increase the knowledge on Equalities, Human Rights and strategies which help sustain the Community and Voluntary Sectors. We do this through:
- Awareness Raising
- Local and Social Media
Campaigning on Race and Community incidents which threaten a negative impact on the borough, e.g. Ricky Reel, the murder of a Korean student along the river Thames or on national events such as the murder of Stephen Lawrence
KREC works with Schools, College, University to share information, promote policies on safety, engagement and cohesion, community participation and citizenship.
KREC helps support organisations as a Strategic Lead by sharing information bringing groups together to support campaigns and work in Partnership.
KREC takes it’s role as a Community organisation in the Royal Borough of Kingston very seriously and believes that it has a responsibility to positively promote all aspects that are good about the Borough to its residents as well as people outside who may want to visit Kingston. This is done through a number of projects:
- Kingston Carnival
- Bike Across Cultures/Sports Across Cultures
- Walking for Health
- All Nations Projects
Other Areas of Work
- We also work in a variety of other areas:
- The Police- Independent advisory group; we are called to various critical incidents locally and London Wide
- Citizenship Ceremonies- Attendence at monthly ceremonies for new citizens to represent the borough with the Mayor of Kingston
- Be a voice for the vulnerable people in our community and help set up voluntary organisations for ‘hard to engage with’ communities to help them settle and integrate with the host community.
- Challenge far right political activities
- Hold political parties to account on equalities prior to national and local elections
KREC (Kingston) was approached by the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Independent Race Equality Think Tank as one on only three London Boroughs out of thirty two to take part in an innovative research project – Race Equality Scorecard – to look at seven identified key indicators and shine a light on how Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities were doing in these areas compared with their White counterparts using data analysis to raise awareness.
The seven identified key indicators were: Criminal Justice, Education, Employment, Housing, Health, Civic Participation and Volunteering. The two other London Boroughs invited to take part were Croydon and Redbridge. The methodology used was to access data held by Statutory and Voluntary organisations locally and nationally.
KREC worked positively with local Stakeholders with the Royal Borough of Kingston taking an active part in the research project and supporting the work. The Kingston Strategic Partnership (KSP) monitored the work and reports were submitted on progress. Participating organisations submitted responses to the Scorecard reports which were produced during the four phases of the Scorecard. Chief Officers and the Leader of the Council took part in video produced as part of the research and these were circulated widely and used to raise awareness on performance of BAME communities.
At the end of every phase of the Scorecard the Report is launched to publicise the findings and Stakeholders and communities are invited to share and comment on the report findings.
KREC has invited other London Boroughs to take part in the Race Equality Scorecard and this phase the London Borough of Sutton took part with plans to get Wandsworth and Richmond involved in the future. KREC is also embarking on work with Kingston University to address those areas where negative impact has been identified and to find ways to address these.
KREC supports communities by providing them with information and advice.
As the RBK Strategic Partner for Black Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugees sector KREC works with the Equality Officer at RBK to make communication regarding services more useful and accessible for a number of local groups and organisations in the Borough.
KREC works with local communities by attending meetings, giving talks to organisations and schools who are seeking to work on Race Equalities and Human Rights, Engagement and Cohesion, Faith and Religious belief issues to encourage Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and Refugee peoples participation.
KREC identifies/ recognises the gaps in provision and works with diverse communities to empower them to develop mechanisms which help them to set up organisations and to support processes to compliment provision by statutory sector agencies; eg Milaap, Refugee Action Kingston, Kingston Chinese Association.
KREC works with other voluntary organisations to promote good practice and develop meaningful networks which help and support our clients:
BAME Projects – setting up specialist access points to facilitate access to services and adequate communication including Interpreting services.
Health Promotion – areas of high need and disease in BAME communities: eg Diabetes,
Inter-community engagement – work done to bring diverse communities together on an adhoc or regular basis such as through arranging joint activities (e.g. “Across Cultures” activities) and plans to arrange joint visits of young people to aid understanding of different communities; organising communities at times of tension and crisis or Critical Incidents; eg London Riots, We Stand Together, attacks on Kingston Mosques, Kingston Synagogue.
KREC as part of its Community Development role identified that there was no organisation which served the needs of the Chinese community in Kingston and the surrounding areas. Attempts to bring people from diverse communities to initiate dialogue and set up an organisation could not get off the ground for a number of years.
KREC went out to make positive contact with three individuals from different background and expertise to help start the dialogue. These Chinese people came from an academic background – a Kingston University Lecturer, a restaurateur – a family business owner with two restaurants in Kingston and a retired self-employed man – former owner of a number of Nursing Homes which he had sold when he retired.
The three individuals at separate meetings stressed they were only available to meet with the KREC CEO on Sundays. When clarity was sort on meeting on Sunday they indicated that they worked throughout the week and only took time off on Sundays to stay with family or socialise. They used some of this time for voluntary work.
Inevitably after individually meeting the people identified an open meeting was set up on Sunday at KREC offices and general word of mouth messages were put out to invite anyone who wanted to take part to attend. This first meeting was attended by twenty five people who wanted to know what can be done to help Chinese people have an organisation which promoted Chinese culture, celebrated Chinese New Year and engaged positively with the Statutory sector as Stakeholders and tax payers.
Other suggestions included charging fifty pounds for membership, securing office space to run the aspiring new organisation and a community centre where Chinese people could meet regularly to share information, seek to interact with other communities and socialise.
KREC worked with selected individuals who took responsibility for various task and within six months of the first meeting Kingston Chinese Association (KCA) was set up with a constitution and a Steering Committee. KREC worked with the Milaap Centre to secure a place where KCA could meet and later during the year an agreement was made between KREC, Milaap and KCA to use the Milaap Centre on Sundays throughout the year.
Over the years a healthy partnership has evolved between these organisations and various communities. KCA membership has increased and the organisation remains one of the strongest Voluntary self-help organisations in the Royal Borough of Kingston.
KREC provides infrastructure and organisational support for developing voluntary, public and private sector. KREC provides training on awareness raising, impact of policies and implementation of equalities in practice.
KREC’s CEO was invited to become an Independent Adviser to the Metropolitan Police Service just before the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry published its watershed report to help recover the lost trust and confidence by the Black communities of the Police and to advise on how to re-engage with the communities.
At the outset the KREC CEO was asked to Chair a Panel which re-investigated the racist murder/disappearance of a young Asian man. The CEO also joined a wider Independent Advisory Group (IAG) made up of the Met Police’s “Sternest Critics” who acted as critical friends and challenged myths and stereotypes of the Black communities.
Training programmes were designed to address to charge of Institutional Racism labelled against the Police. KREC’s CEO took part in a number of these training sessions including the Senior Management of Critical Incident Training (SMoCIT), Racism Awareness, Cultural Awareness and the Impact of the Stephen Lawrence investigation on the Black communities.
KREC’s CEO also took part in numerous Gold Group meetings which were used to manage Critical Incidents. He also sat on numerous Strategic Oversight Groups which securitised decision-making and policy. He also took part in very sensitive operations and remains the only non-Police personnel who had access to the draft Jean Charles De Menezes report. He also took part in big investigations such as Damilola Taylor, Adam – a six year old Black boy whose torso was found in the River Thames and Victoria Climbie.
KREC’s CEO remains an active adviser to the Met Police and Police Forces throughout the UK.
KREC works with existing voluntary and statutory organisations and gives them support and advice to help them develop their services. We also offer other services through:
- Training for staff and trustees
- Strategic Lead role for BAMER
- Coordination of groups
- Advice and support
- Sharing expertise and information
KREC designed a process for helping struggling Race and Equalities Councils around the UK which would enable the organisation to review its Governance and processes to respond to changing conditions and legislation so as to remain effective to meet community’s needs. This process was to ask various Stakeholders within a locality to engage and invest in diverse communities using Partnership arrangement to enable everyone to have a stake in the Race and Equalities agenda.
KREC set up these Race and Equalities Partnerships (REP) in some London Boroughs including Merton, Croydon and Richmond and initiated review projects in Hounslow, Lewisham, Bromley and Sutton. The REPs were supported by setting up Steering Committees who were selected/elected from various Stakeholder organisations and communities to start the REP. They became the start of what developed to became a Charity or a Limited Company and after registration as a Charity or a Limited Company a governance structure was set up with elected Honorary Officers and a Trustee Board.
KREC supported these Trustee Board helping them to raise funds to secure office premises, to recruit staff and acquire equipment to run the organisation.
After the organisation had operated successfully for a pre-determined time period KREC had a managed withdrawal to allow the organisation to operate independently own its own. There was always provision made to request for support and information from KREC on a needs basis.