In November 2015 the first practical manual for the detection and indictment of crimes involving hatred and discrimination was presented. This manual has been drawn up by five lawyers with the guidance of the public prosecutor of Barcelona Miguel Ángel Aguilar, and is the first to specialise in this area in Spain.
Aguilar works in close collaboration with the Police of the Generalitat (Catalan government) – Mossos d’Esquadra, which was also a pioneer project as it was the first law enforcement agency to have a protocol, in March 2010, related to this type of offences.
Crimes involving hatred and discrimination, so-called hate crimes, are an expression of hatred and rejection of those who tend to be different: racism, xenophobia, homophobia, disrespect for the poor, religious intolerance, misogyny, male-chauvinism, disrespect for the disabled and other types of hatred of others and exclusively based on scorn due to differences.
This manual provides a diagnosis of the most common problems which hinder the persecution of this type of crime, and defines which actions characterise hatred-related crime, their variety and the most common obstacles which burden lawsuits and administrations when pursuing such crime. Lack of knowledge of the actions denounced, the lack of data, the lack of accusations, the undermining of the facts, lack of attention to victims, the need to train judges, prosecutors, forensic experts, etc., or addressing racist violence in sport demonstrate the lack of sensitivity that exists and the needs which need to be met in this field.
The authors have made eight recommendations to provide qualitative improvements for investigations involving police, prosecutors and judges, and to further protect victims, focusing on the need for more institutional coordination, training those involved and creating statistics related to this type of crime, which is currently not available.
Related content in the Catalan police website: Lluitem contra l’odi i la discriminació. T’escoltem