Hate hurts campaign continues to raise awareness (13 Oct 2017)

Hate -Crime -PosterWest Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and West Yorkshire Police are relaunching their joint hate crime awareness campaign to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of what hate crime and hate incidents are and to encourage communities to report these issues when they take place.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "No-one should be subjected to, or fear, abuse because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Our communities understanding of what hate crime and hate incidents are has definitely increased but there's still work to do. We still need to continue to raise awareness and push the message that we absolutely do not tolerate hate, and any incidents should be reported as soon as possible.

"We will continue to do our utmost, together with our partners and our communities, to eradicate hate in West Yorkshire."

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 disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, while a hate incident is any non-criminal incident based on the above.

Crimes can include physical attacks, offensive graffiti and arson, threat of attack, such as inciting hatred by words, pictures or videos or offensive letters. Hate incidents can include verbal or online abuse, insults or harassment and bullying at school or in the workplace.

The campaign consists of dedicated webpages, social media promotion, posters, new videos from the PCC and Assistant Chief Constable, Catherine Hankinson.

Hate Crime Awareness Week starts on Saturday 14th October and looks to give people a better understanding of what hate crime is and how it can be reported.

Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson said: "West Yorkshire is home to a diverse population and all residents should be free to live their lives without fear, hatred or intolerance based on their actual or perceived disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation.

"We are committed to engaging with communities to address the historic under-reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents. The Force employs specialist Hate Crime Co-ordinators across districts in order to assist investigating officers in identifying perpetrators, providing after-care support for victims and to increase awareness of hate crime and reporting mechanisms.

"Hate crime can be devastating for the victim but can also have repercussions in the wider community and we work closely with local councils, Victim Support and the numerous community based West Yorkshire third party Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) to ensure that victims, witnesses and other affected parties are supported and have the opportunity to report incidents in an alternative location to a police station.

"Our message is simple; if you have experienced a hate crime or incident then please report it in whatever way you feel comfortable. By the police being aware of an incident or crime, we can deal with it and potentially prevent the same thing happening to someone else."

Anyone with information about a hate crime or incidents is asked to report it to the police or an independent Hate Incident Reporting Centre.

Reports to the police can be made by calling 999 in an emergency, calling 101 for a non-emergency, online at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice/abuse-anti-social-behaviour/hate-crime/hate-crime-hate-incidents or www.report-it.org.uk or by calling in to a police station. Details on Hate Incident Reporting Centres can also be found on West Yorkshire Police's website.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2017