North Yorkshire Police is encouraging victims and communities to report hate crime as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019.
Taking place from Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 October, the campaign seeks to target victims and communities to reinforce the message that there is #NoPlaceForHate in North Yorkshire and emphasise the importance of reporting hate crime.
Hate crime is a criminal act motivated by a prejudice towards an individual. A hate crime incident is an act of prejudice which may not break the law but may still be reported and recorded.
Between April 2019 and September 2019, 348 hate crimes were reported in North Yorkshire at an average of 58 per month. In comparison, 292 hate crimes were reported between April and September the previous year in 2018 at an average of 48.6 per month.
North Yorkshire Police wants to encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it. The force is also seeking to reinforce the message that it’s not just victims of hate crime who can report it. Communities can play their part too, and stop the damaging effects of hate crime by reporting any incidents witnessed.
If you are a victim of hate crime, or have any information that you can provide to protect others, however insignificant it may seem, contact us on 101 or, if it’s an emergency, always call 999.
Alternatively, if victims or witnesses do not wish to speak to the police, organisations True Vision at report-it.org or Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire on 01609 643 100 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org can be contacted for further advice and support.
Speaking about the campaign, Superintendent Mark Khan, the force lead for hate crime, said: “Our message is clear – to target hate at a person because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender is a crime.
“It is not political correctness gone mad – it is a real crime that can have a devastating impact upon individuals and communities.
“Hate crime is about prejudice – prejudice against a person which can cause significant distress and harm. Often, victims are too scared to stand up for themselves.”
Amanda Hanusch-Moore, the force’s operational lead on hate crime, added: “Whether you are a victim of hate crime, or have witnessed a hate crime incident in North Yorkshire, we would urge you to report it, no matter how insignificant it may seem, via 101 or 999 in an emergency.
“If you do not wish to speak to the police, contact Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire or visit True Vision, who can both be contacted confidentially and can offer support and advice.
“The most important thing is to not accept this behaviour and not let it hide within our communities – report it. By reporting it, we can stop it.”
Hate crime is not isolated to verbal or physical abuse. It can also involve vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti or arson, cyberbullying, offensive communications, threats of attack or financial exploitation. All of these incidents can be reported to police.
For more information about hate crime visit northyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime