Cheshire Constabulary is joining other police forces across the country in raising awareness of hate crime as part of the National Hate Crime Awareness week - running from 13 October to 20 October. The week allows police forces, other agencies and charities to highlight the importance of understanding what hate crime is, how to report it and what support is available for victims.
A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
We want to encourage people to report all instances of hate crime – either directly to the police via the telephone, on line or in person or via one of our third party reporting centres which are listed on our force website. It is recognised nationally as an under-reported crime so these reports allow us to gain a better understanding of the volume and nature of hate crime in our force area and enables us to support victims and prosecute those responsible.
Cheshire Constabulary understands it can be difficult to report such crimes, but they want to ensure they are doing everything they can to make it easier for victims to come forward. The force is working with a large number of third party reporting centres spread across the county, which are listed on the force’s website. They include charities and public venues and can provide advice and support for people who would prefer not to report a hate crime directly to police. Reports can also be made on line to “True Vision” at www.report-it.org.uk who will pass the report onto your local police. The web site also contains useful advice and links.
Nick Bailey, Acting Assistant Chief Constable at Cheshire Constabulary, said:
“Everyone in Cheshire should feel free to be themselves. No one should face violence, abuse or hatred just because of who they are, who they love, where they are from, what they look like or what they believe. Being targeted because of your race, gender identity, religion/faith, sexual orientation or disability is a hate crime and we are determined to do all we can to stop all forms of hate crime. But we understand that some people are wary of speaking to the police. It is imperative that victims have the confidence to speak out if they have been subjected to a hate crime so a wide range of voluntary organisations and servicer user groups provide a third party reporting service for victims and witnesses. We also have trained staff who we can arrange for you to speak to if it would make you feel more comfortable, for instance LGBT staff.
“These services offer a safe and comfortable environment and can assist people with reporting a hate crime. They will help you fill in an easy to fill in form on the True Vision website and the police will then use that report to investigate the hate crime thoroughly and make sure the perpetrator is made to face the consequences of their actions.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said:
“Hate crime is a heinous crime that will not be tolerated by police in Cheshire. I have worked with the constabulary to put in place strict protocols to ensure that every incident is investigated and dealt with appropriately. I have also strengthened the bond between police and third party reporting centres, which are ensuring more incidents of hate crime are reported and responded to.
“I understand the negative impact hate crimes can have on victims and I would like to reassure all victims of crime that they have the option of being supported by Cheshire CARES – the service I commission to deliver emotional and practical support to help victims cope and recover from their ordeal.”
For the full list of reporting centres in Cheshire visit www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/hate-crime/third-party-reporting-centres.