Research details

Racist hostility and racist victimisation. Research findings.

Author[s] Law, Ian; Hemmerman, Lou; Sirriyeh, Ala and Simms, Jenny

Date 2007



To examine local agency concerns of increasing racist hostility and violence in an area of low-income social housing in Leeds to gain a better understanding of how racist hostility works and to inform an effective response.


Fieldwork was carried out January to June 2007 with victims, residents and agency staff.

Key issues

The findings of the research evidence reports of racist violence in Leeds; describe victims' experiences, discuss how racist hostility may emerge, and examines the responses from agencies. The research shows that racist hostility and violence in Leeds has proved to be highly durable, despite increased levels of reporting and improvements in policies and practices of relevant agencies. Community-wide patterns of racist hostility have been left largely untouched by dealing with individual perpetrators or victims. The research identifies experiences ranging from widespread, overt hostility to covert everyday talk. Drivers are described, including perceptions of unfair or preferential treatment.


Victims identified the failure of agencies to respond effectively given widespread racist hostility and the weakness of enforcement processes. Local agencies stressed a desire for more effective work with local communities and the need to improve implementation of race hate policy.

Further details

Resource type
Published by
University of Leeds, Leeds

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