To mark National Hate Crime Awareness week (14 to 21 October 2017), North Yorkshire Police are requesting the support of local communities to say NO to hate crime and report any incidents witnessed to police on 999 in an emergency, or via 101.
Hate crime can shatter communities and causes division and fear. Police are keen to stress that it’s not just victims of hate crime who can report it. Communities themselves can stop the damaging effects of hate crime, by reporting any incidents witnessed to police or to organisations such as Stop Hate UK, True Vision or Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire.Speaking about the campaign Supt Mark Khan, lead in force for hate crime said:
“Hate crime has a devastating effect on its victims and communities alike. It causes people to live in fear and change their daily behaviour, in the attempt to avoid unprovoked verbal and physical attacks. Some victims feel helpless and believe that this abuse is a way of life, that they have to accept the behaviour which is targeted at them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.
“North Yorkshire Police want to ensure that those who inflict hate know it will not be accepted and it will not be tolerated. The message is clear – to target hate at a person because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender is a crime.
“We also want to encourage and empower not just victims to report, but also local communities to speak out and say no to hate crime in their own neighbourhoods, by reporting incidents they may have seen to police.
“We recognise however, not everybody wants to involve the police, but this doesn’t mean that hate crime can’t be reported and that support for victims cannot be sought. There are a number of organisations that victims and witnesses can report to, such as Stop Hate UK, True Vision and Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire who can all 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.
In addition to reporting to the police, people can also go to Stop Hate UK, a 24-hour telephone hotline commissioned by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. She said:
“I’m very pleased hate crime is a priority for the police and we’ve seen an increase in reporting, which is encouraging. However, sometimes for a variety of reasons people don’t want to go to the police and would rather get help from elsewhere. Stop Hate UK provide such a service across North Yorkshire; they offer support and advice on what to do next, including reporting incidents. I am very keen to ensure that anyone who has been, or thinks they may have been a victim of hate crime, has the help they need, whether from the police or Stop Hate UK.”
North Yorkshire Police are also encouraging members of the public to show their support for the campaign and help spread the message about the importance of hate crime reporting, by changing their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to carry the say NO to hate – report it message.
People can go to the North Yorkshire Police website and follow the links to upload a ‘Say NO to hate – report it’ twibbon, which will add the message to their profile picture. A ‘Say NO to hate – report it’ Facebook cover banner is also available on the website.
More information about hate crime and events which are taking place across the region to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week is available on the North Yorkshire Police website – https://northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/public-campaigns/say-no-hate-crime-national-hate-crime-awareness-week-14-21-october-2017/Posted on in News stories