Police and Crime Commissioner Roundtable on Hate Crime (18 Jan 2013)

Hate Crime was the subject of discussion at the first of a series of issue based roundtable events in 2013 this week, organised by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Over 60 people representing public and voluntary sector organisations across West Yorkshire met with Mark in Leeds to discuss all forms of hate crime e.g. race, homophobic, disability-related, religious, etc.

Superintendent Paul Giannasi from the Ministry of Justice came to the event to talk about the National perspective. Chief Inspector Hector Mackay from West Yorkshire Police followed with a presentation about the number of each type of hate crime reported to the police and the hate crime hotspots across West Yorkshire. Trish Holder from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner finished by talking about how much of a problem the people completing the Commissioner's public perception survey considered hate crime to be.

The main focus of the event was to discuss experiences of reporting hate crime and importantly to identify possible solutions for the Commissioner and partners to take forward.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "We had a fantastic response for this roundtable from all over West Yorkshire. Hate crime is a serious issue that can make victim's lives a misery.

"Hearing the views of everyone present and the solutions for improving the reporting and handling has helped me to identify my priorities for tackling hate crime with the police and partner agencies. These will feature in my first Police and Crime Plan, due to be published in the next few weeks.

"I will be holding more roundtable events to look at other significant crime issues for people in West Yorkshire.

 One attendee Maggie Graham, Regional Campaigns Officer for Mencap, thanked Mark for holding the event, saying: "I was really pleased to attend the consultation and to see that hate crime continues to be given the time and consideration it deserves by the Commissioner and West Yorkshire Police.

 "It has been good to work with West Yorkshire Police since the launch of the Stand by me campaign, and I am genuinely impressed by the efforts being made to improve disability hate crime reporting and police support."

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