Hate crimes, or prejudicially motivated crimes, are on the rise nationally, however Tasmanian advocacy groups say they have been left in the dark.
Currently, Tasmanian police do not have the mechanism to record prejudice motivated crimes in its database, with key stakeholders saying the revelation is cause for concern.
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Academics, service providers and community groups from across the state have been lobbying Tasmania Police and the government to change police reporting procedures.
According to a police spokesperson, if an offence is related to racial prejudice, it can be used as an "aggravating factor" in sentencing.
However, some minority groups are not able to access this provision, with the gap in police reporting making it difficult to collect the necessary evidence.
University of Tasmania Professor of Policing and Emergency Management Nicole Asquith said prejudice motivated crimes had been on the rise across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"A prejudice motivated crime is any crime that is motivated in part or wholly by prejudice against a person because of their perceived membership of a group," Professor Asquith said.
"And perceived is really important because we've seen over COVID, Malaysian people are being attacked because people think they're Chinese.
"It is anything from criminal damage through to homicide."
Professor Asquith said prejudice motivated crimes were particularly traumatic because they were an attack on a victim's identity.
"I think the big difference between a normal, 'garden variety' assault and a prejudice motivated assault is the impact on the victim," she said.
"Someone is being attacked because of who they are and it's what we call, a ripple effect.
"Communities, especially in Tassie, are so small, that an attack against one is an attack almost against the whole community.
"They all feel that effect and they all think about their own behaviours, about what they should or shouldn't do to keep themselves safe.
"I've spoken to survivors for the past twenty years, who say 'well I'm not going out to pubs anymore'. So, people make really big decisions against how they live their lives as a result of this targeted violence."
Multicultural Council of Tasmania chief executive Duncan Spender said he was concerned that the lack of data meant issues in the community were being overlooked.
"It's concerning no matter how prevalent it is, but we would like to have a better handle on the numbers," he said.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said members of the LGBTQIA+ community has raised concerns that prejudice motivated crimes were on the rise since the pandemic, but it was difficult to determine the impact.
"There have been a number of local and national studies of the impact of the pandemic on LGBTIQ+ people and they show an increase in discrimination and harassment within families, when accessing health services and on the street," Mr Croome said.
"The police should start recording when crime is hate motivated, so they can see the patterns of abuse and not just treat each incident in isolation."
Disability advocate and former project officer at Disability Voices Tasmania Fiona Strahan said public harassment and abuse was commonplace for people living with a disability.
"If we reported it every time, we would be on the phone a lot," she said.
"But, even if the police can't do anything, I think it's important to record it."
Ms Strahan said she would like police to document incidences of prejudice motivated crimes, so is was no longer normalised as "part of life" for people living with a disability.
Attorney-General Elise Archer said she and the Minister for Police Jacquie Petrusma had recently met with representatives from the lobby group to discuss the proposed changes.
"Our government has committed to looking at a number of the matters raised by the organisations, including consideration of possible reform in relation to our sentencing laws, as well as where we may be able to provide further support towards community education and behavioural rehabilitation programs," Ms Archer said.
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