20 May

Hate Crime Corodinator

Sussex Police have just advertised for a Hate Crime Co-ordinator. I wonder why? I suppose they got fed up of all these random, unco-ordinated hate crimes, acts of violence, being committed more or less willy-nilly and decided it was time they were knocked into shape, so to speak. Hence the need for a co-ordinator: though I notice the advertisement calls her or him a “corodinator.” They kindly sent me a job description defining a hate crime as something that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person. Well, that nicely helps us distinguish between hate crimes and other sorts – love crimes, perhaps?

These may be crimes directed against a person’s “disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.” The job description then adds mysteriously, “These crimes can be committed against a person or property.” Property – if we discount our slaves – consists of inanimate objects and these too must be protected against hatred. So if you see a bloke kicking a bus just because it’s got itself transgendered from its former life, unhappily on the wrong track as a tram, shop him to the fuzz. The worst I’ve come across so far was seeing my auntie shouting at a – Methodist? – tube of toothpaste when she couldn’t get the cap off.

Mysteriouser and mysteriouser… They say, “A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. In fact anyone could be the victim of a hate crime.” So why carefully list the categories which constitute victimhood? I’m confused. Moreover, I’ve read the whole advert twice but for the life of me still can’t work out what the hate crime corodinator is supposed to do. There are hints: “You will be required to be (sic) oversee the management of the Sussex Police (East Sussex) response to hate crime around audit and review of recording, processes and action taken.” Bureacratese gobbledegook like that tells me that Sussex Police also need to advertise for candidates with an expertise in English as a Foreign Language.

The word “Compliance” makes its statutory appearance of course. Then more bureaucratese: “Represent safer East Sussex Team/Sussex Police on multi-agency case panels, provide expertise and advice to key and local stakeholders such as voluntary and community sector businesses and registered social landlords.”

It was only when I arrived at the end of the advert, I think I got an inkling of what the job entails by noting the qualifications required. I had imagined these might include sharp eyes – (I suppose we could translate this into suitably mangled jargon and call it “observational skills.”) Sensitivity and a broad sympathy would surely be advantageous, as would a sense of proportion and an equal sense of the ridiculous. But no – none of these attributes is listed as desirable. At last we get to QUALIFICATIONS ESSENTIAL: “IT skills including Microsoft Office, including use of social networking.” Of course! What else? As with 99% of all the jobs in Britain today, the successful applicant will spend half of her or his working days staring into a computer screen and the other half talking or texting on a mobile phone.

Still, the pay’s not bad. Applicants are invited to contact Chief Inspector Rosie Ross DR497, the Safer East Sussex Team on Twitter and @safereastsx. Sounds cheeky. Dear Rosie – may I call you DR497? – I should like to be your coordinator.