iStreetWatch was created by volunteers in response to the rise in racist and xenophobic street harassment following the Brexit referendum in June 2016. It offers both victims and witnesses the means to report hate crime incidents. The tool also maps where these incidents occur, allowing people to see which areas are safer to be in.
Thousands of people have taken the iStreetWatch pledge, showing their commitment to speaking up in the face of racist or xenophobic harassment in order to make our streets safe for everyone.
The project intends to engage with migrant and Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities to demonstrate the usefulness of this reporting mechanism, and the importance of reporting racist and xenophobic hate crimes or incidents.
As part of the project, the timeline of racist and xenophobic hate crimes will also be compared to the ongoing debate on immigration and freedom of movement prompted by the EU referendum vote. We will look at trends over time and see if there is a relationship between the abuse that migrants experience and inflammatory speech from the media and politicians.
We are working with a number of partner organisations – some use the iStreetWatch platform to collect their own data on hate crime, while others promote the site through their networks.