Hate Crime in the North: Sophie’s Legacy
In our first event of the ‘Changing Perspectives’ series we will be joined by the mother of Sophie Lancaster, Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE and Nazir Afzal OBE who will be discussing how Sophie’s murder led to political and social change, particularly in the North of England. The event will also explore the current issues surrounding hate crime and the effect on those who experience it.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up as a lasting legacy to Sophie Lancaster, who was brutally murdered in August 2007, following an unprovoked attack because she dressed in an alternative way. The Foundation challenges prejudice and intolerance in all it’s forms through creative challenging outreach work with diverse audiences in schools, universities, prisons, youth clubs and at music festivals. It also campaigns to have hate crime legislation extended to include hate crime against people from alternative subcultures. Following the Foundation’s lobbying eighteen police forces now monitor hate crime against alternative subcultures. You can find out more and donate to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation here.
Sylvia Lancaster campaigns nationally and internationally, and is an advisor to the Government’s Independent Advisory Group for Hate Crime. She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for her work in community cohesion and reducing hate crime. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Bolton and University of Surrey.
Sylvia will be joined by Nazir Afzal OBE, who was Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West of England, and formerly Director in London. During his 24 year career, he prosecuted the most high profile cases in the country and advised on many others. He has led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence. He had responsibility for more than 100,000 prosecutions each year. His prosecutions of the so called Rochdale grooming gang and hundreds of others were ground-breaking and drove the work that has changed the landscape of child protection. His memoirs “The Prosecutor” was published in 2020 with the tagline “One Man’s Pursuit of Justice for the Voiceless”. He has received many accolades during his career including an OBE in 2005 and is recognised as one of 100 most influential Muslims and Asians in the UK.