Hate hurts: hate crime campaign re-launched (9 Oct 2015)

West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire are today launching Hate Hurts, their campaign to highlight the issue of hate crime.

The campaign launch coincides with national Hate Crime Awareness Week which starts tomorrow, Saturday, 10 October, and aims to give people a better understanding of what hate crime is and what they can do about it.

Mark Burns Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: "Raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it is a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan.

"I want victims and witnesses of hate crime to feel able to come forward and report it to individuals and organisations they trust, because it is not acceptable in any form.

"We all have a responsibility to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred because early intervention and education can make a real difference to communities ensuring they are safer and feel safer.

"Hate crimes are categorised under disability, faith, race, sexual orientation and transphobic. A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes were introduced last year to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims. The subcategories for faith are anti-Christian, anti-Hindu, anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and anti-Sikh and the subcategories for disability are learning, physical, sensory and mental.

"I am also working closely with West Yorkshire Police to improve how we monitor hate crime on a regular basis to help people who suffer these crimes to ensure they have the confidence to come forward and say what has happened to them."

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "Being who you are is not a crime, but being targeted because of race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity can be.

"Hate crime takes many forms including harassment, threats, offensive graffiti, physical abuse, vandalism and inciting hatred online.  It can have both a devastating effect on a single victim and also has the potential to divide communities.

"We appreciate that some individuals may be distrustful of police because of their own or others' past experiences and we work hard to understand and build relationships with our diverse communities across West Yorkshire."
"Everyone has a part to play in reporting hate incidents, whether you are a victim, or a witness to hate crime. It may be that some incidents do not constitute a criminal offence but by letting us know we can ensure that support and advice are offered to those involved and action taken where appropriate. The reporting of incidents also helps us build up a picture of any emerging patterns and helps us to work with our communities."

The Force website now includes a video message from T/ACC Williams re-launching Hate Hurts, which can be viewed online from today.

West Yorkshire Police is also hosting a live web chat on Hate Crime, on Monday 12 October at 7pm, log on to the website to get involved and speak directly to T/ACC Williams and PCC Mark Burns-Williamson. www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatehurtswebchat

Anyone with information about a hate incident is asked to report it either by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime or www.report-it.org.uk or in person at a police station.

Alternatively, there are independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) across West Yorkshire for anyone who does not want to speak directly to the police. To find your nearest centre visit the West Yorkshire Police website.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018