Information Sharing Agreement

Community Security Trust, a community-based NGO, and regional UK police forces have agreed to systematically share information on and reports of antisemitic incidents.

The Community Support Trust (CST) is an NGO that provides representation and advice for the Jewish community on security and antisemitism. CST receives reports of antisemitic incidents from victims, witnesses and other sources. This agreement allows CST to share these reports with the police and vice versa. It builds on working practices previously developed by CST and police forces in Manchester and London since 2011.


In this page:


Implementing the practice: step by step

The practice was developed following a series of meetings in which it was discovered that a lot of antisemitic hate crimes were reported either to CST or to the police, but not to both. A decision was then taken to share information to overcome this problem.

For such a practice to be successful, there needs to be complete trust and confidentiality between the police and the community based NGO that the information they share will be used responsibly and stored securely.

The information exchange process is as follows:

  • Antisemitic incident reports are anonymised so that details which could identify the victim or offender are removed.
  • CST staff and police officers hold regular meetings to exchange incident reports and discuss possible follow-up or investigations.
  • CST staff then compare these anonymised reports with incidents reported directly to CST, checking the dates, location and what happened, to ensure that no incidents are 'double-counted' by being reported to both CST and the police.

Evaluation of the practice

Impact assessments are conducted by CST and the relevant police force on an ongoing basis, as well as the National Community Tension Team at six-monthly meetings.

The effectiveness could be gauged through the experience of police officers and CST staff who became aware of antisemitic hate crimes that had previously not been reported to them. They were able to compare the numbers and trends of antisemitic hate crime and incidents reported to police and to CST.

The practice has shown that significant numbers of antisemitic hate crimes and incidents are reported to CST in its role as a community based NGO but not to the police. Equally, a significant number are reported to the police but not to CST. By sharing incident data, the police are made aware of hate crimes that had not been reported to them and vice versa.

As a consequence, police forces and CST both receive a more complete picture of anti-Semitic hate crime in the UK and are better placed to help victims of hate crimes.

Critical success factors

The lessons learnt relate to how often data needs to be exchanged and how much data can be exchanged within the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

Elements transferable to other EU Member States

This could be transferred to any EU Member State where there is a capable and trusted community based NGO that has a proven working relationship with hate crime officers at the police.

Key Facts

Start date: March 2015.
End date: Ongoing.
Scope of the practice: National.
Target group: UK Jewish community.
Beneficiaries: The Jewish community; victims of antisemitic acts.
Key objectives: To share information about antisemitic hate incidents and hate crimes between CST (a community-based NGO) and UK police forces.

Legal basis of the practice

The practice is not based on a specific hate crime legal framework. It is based on:

  • Civil Evidence Act 1995
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Police Reform Act 2002
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Police Act 1996
  • Police Act 1997

Designing bodies and partners consulted

  • Designing body: National Police Chiefs’ Council
  • Partner consulted: Community Security Trust

Implementing Bodies

  • Community Security Trust
  • Regional police forces

Further information

See Information Sharing Agreements web page

Contacts

Community Security Trust 
Email: enquiries (at) cst (dot) org (dot) uk