From 29 June to 3 July Budapest (Hungary) hosted the CEPOL course 69/2015 “Hate crimes”. 30 participants from EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and EUROPOL attended the course, organised by the National University of Public Service and the International Training Centre of the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior. 26 experts from various EU Member States and international organisations delivered lectures and promoted exchange of information among course participants.
Hate crimes are a widespread issue in Europe, with clear social and psychological grounds. Tackling this type of crime becomes challenging for police officers though, not only because it demands specific investigative methods, but also due to the lack of harmonised legislation within the EU. This is why training and cooperation between police and civil society becomes essential to prevent crimes targeting victims belonging to a certain social group.
Participants engaged in discussions and learn to solve specific tasks through working groups. They also took part on field study and visited a museum on the Roma holocaust. With students and trainers coming from so many different countries, a multicultural environment made it possible to compare different national approaches to the subject.
Topics covered in the course programme included:
- fundamental human rights;
- perception, causes and consequences of hate crimes;
- international cooperation;
- policing on hate crimes in different EU countries;
- judicial experiences;
- crime prevention.
Both participants and trainers described the activity as a success and gave useful feedback to improve and raise the course standards in future editions. “Lectures, speeches and workshops were properly ordered from general problems to details”, said one of the participants. Experts highlighted participants’ motivation and advised that presentations should not be overlapped to encourage learning what others say. Dr. Judit Nagy, course manager, stated: “I learned a lot about this topic, but also about international cooperation – this includes working and planning in a multicultural environment, networking, learning from different approaches and opinions, raising questions and make people think. The work and efforts invested have proved to be worth”.