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Sticks and stones – a poem about hate crime by Sergeant Zoe Billings of North Yorkshire Police

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It's National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018 and we are encouraging victims and communities to say no to hate crime. As part of the week of action, Sergeant Zoe Billings has kindly shared a short poem with us in the hope it will encourage victims of hate crime to come forward and report it.

When asked about why she wanted to support hate crime awareness week Sergeant Billings said:

“Hate crime awareness week is important as the impact of, not only the crime, but the motivation behind it, can be truly devastating.

“Being treated differently because of essentially who you are can have profound negative effects on the victim, which can remain with someone a long time.

“As a police force, we need to reinforce the message that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in our community so that we can work towards this conduct becoming a thing consigned to the history books.

“I hope, by writing a poem, it presents the headline information in a quick and simple way, raises people’s awareness and increases their understanding.”

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018 runs from Saturday 13 October to 20 October 2018. Follow the conversation #NoPlaceForHate

If 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.

There is no place for hate in North Yorkshire.

For more advice visit: northyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime


Pictured: Sergeant Zoe Billings of North Yorkshire Police



Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words can hurt me too

I will not change who I am

I would never ask this of you


My race, religion, is who I am

As is my sexuality

It’s time to embrace our differences

They are part of you and me.


If I have a disability

It may challenge my daily life

Do not treat me differently for this

Do not add your prejudice to my strife


A criminal act motivated by the above

Can result in longer jail time

It will not be tolerated in today’s world

That’s why we call it ‘hate crime’



Last modified: October 15, 2018