National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10 to 17 October with the aim of the week being to raise awareness about hate crime, what it is and if you are a victim - how to report it.
Throughout the week North Yorkshire Police are supporting a number of local groups and events across the region, to spread the message that hate crime will not be tolerated and to encourage victims to come forward and report it.
Events are taking place in Scarborough, Northallerton, York and Selby with the support of local Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Members of the public are invited to come along to receive information and support.
Hate crime is described as any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
It can take the form of;
- Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbourhood disputes and arson.
- Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone call, intimidation or malicious complaints.
- Verbal abuse or insults – including offensive letters and posters, abusive gestures, and bullying at school or in the workplace.
Speaking about National Hate Crime Awareness week DCC Tim Madgwick said;
“North Yorkshire Police take hate crime extremely seriously and encourage anyone who has been a victim to come forward and report it. Everyone has a right to live without fear – being who you are is not a crime – but being threatened or harassed because of it is. We would ask victims if they are under immediate threat or attack to call 999. Alternatively you can report it to North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the Supporting Victims service or Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625.”
Figures for hate crime are relatively low in North Yorkshire, but it’s believed this may be due to people either not being aware that they have been subject to a crime or reluctance to report it.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan said;
“We know that hate crime is under-reported but the reasons for this are not clear. In my Police and Crime Plan, I have set out a clear objective for improvements to be made in response to feedback from the public. I know the police take this very seriously and that once the North Yorkshire specific report I have commissioned is finalised, further improvements to the service will be made. In the meantime, it is important for people to report incidents to the police, or if they feel they’d rather talk to someone independent, they can call Supporting Victims on 01904 669276. The team are trained to ensure victims get the help they need.”
Advice and support will be available at all the events throughout the week and members of the public are invited to drop in and learn more about hate crime, how to recognise it and how they can take steps to stop it.
A full list of events is available on the Stop Hate UK website –http://www.stophateuk.org/hate-crime-awareness-week/
The week of activity kicks off in Scarborough. On launch day (Sat 10 Oct) volunteers from partner agencies and local PCSO’s will be meeting at The Hub, Northway for a briefing about hate crime and how to report it. They will then be out and about in Scarborough town centre raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it, to members of the public and local businesses.
In Northallerton a ‘Different? No Difference!’ event will take place on Thursday 15 October at the Town Hall from 10am to 1pm and members of the public are invited to drop in. North Yorkshire Police, supported by Mencap and the Safer Hambleton Community Safety Local Delivery Team will be available to offer support or guidance to anyone affected by hate crime.
Selby Town Safer Neighbourhood Team will be running a hate crime awareness roadshow. The roadshow will be travelling around Selbythroughout the week, starting in Selby Market on Monday (10am-3pm) then moving to Selby Town Hall on Tuesday (2.30pm-4.30pm) and then Selby Library on Friday (9.30am-12pm). They will be ending the week on Saturday 17 October at Morrisons supermarket and will be on hand to offer advice and support to anyone affected.
Local PCSOs will be at York Designer Outlet on Sunday 11 October between 8am- 3.30pm with a hate crime awareness stand to give advice and information. On Monday 12 October the team will be at the University of York Student Union from 6pm-7.30pm. Throughout the week they will be running hate crime awareness sessions at local schools and on Wednesday 14 October a drop in session at Tang Hall Lane Community Centre from 12-2pmPosted on in News stories