National campaign to crack down on hate crimes is being backed by Leicestershire Police

The force has supported National Hate Crime Awareness Week for the last nine years

Monday, 11th October 2021, 4:39 pm

A national campaign to crack down on hate crimes is being backed by Leicestershire Police.

The force has supported National Hate Crime Awareness Week for the last nine years.

It was set up to mark the 10th anniversary of the 1999 nail bomb attacks in London.

A national campaign to crack down on hate crimes is being backed by Leicestershire Police.

“The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the work that takes place on a daily basis by local authorities such as the police and councils who work alongside key partners and communities to tackle local issues and encourage all forms of hate crime to be challenged,” said Leicestershire Police.

“There will be a week of activity taking place, including engagement with local schools who will be running assemblies and awareness sessions run by local officers and the force’s Hate Crime Officer Isla Dixon.

“If your school would benefit from one of these sessions please contact Isla via [email protected]

Isla said: “Hate and discrimination divide communities and have far reaching and devastating consequences.

“As a force we actively challenge negative behaviours towards disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

“We work closely with partner agencies and communities to promote respect and unity.”

Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “Hate crime is not tolerated in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“We would urge anyone affected by hate or discrimination, or anyone who witnesses this unacceptable behaviour taking place, to report incidents to us so that together we can ‘Say No To Hate’ and work together to eliminate it.

“Leicestershire Police is committed to challenging hate it in all its forms – being you is not a crime, being targeted for who you are is.

“National Hate Crime Awareness Week enables us to promote the work we do throughout the year within our diverse communities and to put a spotlight onto hate crime in order to provide greater awareness and to provide confidence to our communities to report incidents to us.”

Rupert Matthews, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Hate crime, which is generally driven by ignorance or prejudice, is a particularly insidious form of crime.

“It can utterly blight the lives of people who are subjected to this type of behaviour.

“Crimes motivated by hate are personal attacks that can leave victims, who may already have vulnerabilities, feeling powerless and reluctant to report the crime.”

He added: “Sadly, too many victims accept this abhorrent behaviour as par for the course.

“As a community we need to give people the confidence and the support so that they will not tolerate abuse and are willing to take positive action to bring those responsible to justice.

“To overcome the problem, we need to tackle the root causes,” added Mr Matthews, of Kibworth Beauchamp.

“To do this effectively the police, criminal justice agencies and the specialist third sector groups who have an in-depth understanding of the problems people face in dealing with Hate Crime, must work together.

“For my part, I would like to urge anyone who is experiencing or witnesses a hate crime or hate incident to report it.

“Without this, there will be more victims and those responsible will go unchallenged.”

Hate incidents or hate crimes can be reported to Leicestershire Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999.

You can also report to your local council or anonymously via the Stamp it Out website: http://www.stamp-it-out.co.ukMeanwhile, a new 24/7 hate crime telephone helpline is being launched in Northamptonshire.

The new Northants hotline will be operated by Stop Hate UK.

That’s a national charity which provides independent and confidential support to people affected by hate crime.

Rose Simkins, chief executive of Stop Hate UK, said: “We are delighted to launch our helpline service in Northamptonshire.

“All forms of hate crime are significantly under-reported and some people and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council.

“We are able to support people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn.

“No one should have to suffer hate crime in silence, and working together with the police, two unitary authorities and OPFCC we can help to make a difference in Northamptonshire.”

Laura Jones, Prevention Manager at Northamptonshire Police, said: “Whilst we encourage victims and witnesses to contact the police regarding Hate Crime, it’s a really positive step for the county to have an independent third party reporting facility, providing 24/7 support to victims and witnesses.

“We hope this service helps to bring some resolution to those who have sadly been victimised.

“We will continue to work together across partners to stamp out Hate Crime and are pleased to be able to bring in another partnership and service to help do this.”

The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625.

The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email to [email protected]

British Sign Language (BSL) users can report via the interactive BSL link on www.stophateuk.org