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Czech NGO signs agreement with police to cooperate for the benefit of bias crime victims

15.12.2021 8:05
Prague Regional Police Director Tomáš Lerch (right) and the director of the In IUSTITIA organization, Klára Kalibová (left) signing an agreement on cooperation to benefit bias crime victims, November 2021. (PHOTO:  In IUSTITIA)
Prague Regional Police Director Tomáš Lerch (right) and the director of the In IUSTITIA organization, Klára Kalibová (left) signing an agreement on cooperation to benefit bias crime victims, November 2021. (PHOTO: In IUSTITIA)

Klára Kalibová, the director of the In IUSTITIA organization, and Tomáš Lerch, Prague Regional Police Director, have signed an agreement to cooperate for the benefit of bias crime victims. Thanks to this agreement, such crime victims will access the aid available to them from professionals more quickly. 

Bias crime is any crime motivated by the perpetrator's prejudices toward the group the perpetrator believes the victim represents (e.g., homeless people, LGBT people, Romani people, etc.). While such crimes may involve physical violence, they can also involve non-physical forms of attack.

Attacks on an individual's or a group's property, psychological pressure and verbal assault can all count as bias crime. Since 2009, the In IUSTITIA public benefit corporation is the only organization in the Czech Republic to concentrate on providing legal and social work services to persons who have been assaulted in this way.  

Annually the group provides services to more than 400 people nationwide. In addition to aiding victims, the organization is also involved in educating other professional men and women and performing analysis and research in the area of victims' rights. 

"The formalization of our cooperation with the Regional Police Directorate has confirmed our good, longstanding relationship and joint effort to more effectively provide aid to the people who find themselves without any support in the immediate aftermath of an assault," Kalibová says. If, in future, the police encounter a bias crime victim, they will offer them In IUSTITIA's counseling services and, with the victim's consent, provide the victim's contact information to the counseling center. 

"We will immediately contact the victims and offer them basic aid including both social work services and legal support," Kalibová explains. Lerch, the director of the Capital City of Prague's Regional Police Directorate, said of the agreement that "I am very glad that thanks to our future cooperation with the In IUSTITIA organization, aid will be provided to bias crime victims immediately after such an attack. I very much appreciate all of the people who are doing their best to assist crime victims."   

The agreement is the first of its kind to be reached between the bias crime victim counseling center and the police. Similar agreements are customarily concluded, for example, to benefit the victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Crime, Hate, In IUSTITIA, Police



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