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AUDIO: Campaign to tackle hate crime

AUDIO: Campaign to tackle hate crime

Published at 12:59pm 12th July 2016. (Updated at 5:02pm 12th July 2016)

Public figures have joined forces to say "everyone is welcome in North Yorkshire".

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, are asking everyone to ensure that people continue to be "welcomed and embraced".

It follows an increase in reports of hate crime across the country following the EU referendum.

The message from Julia and Sir Gary is that no-one should face abuse because of their background, race, gender, ability, sexuality and nationality.

Alongside North Yorkshire Police and members of the local Independent Advisory Group, they are also encouraging anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to report incidents.

Julia said: "There appears to have been an increase in hate crime in other parts of the country, which is extremely worrying.

"Levels in North Yorkshire appear to be more stable, but we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward to the police, or a third party, to ensure such despicable acts are dealt with properly."

Sir Gary Verity added: "As I said just after the referendum, now is the time for Yorkshire to 'keep calm and carry on', to keep proving to the world and each other that we are a welcoming and tolerant community that embraces diversity in all its forms.

"Yorkshire remains a beacon of tourism, with the latest figures showing overnight trips to Yorkshire grew by 20% in 2015, one of largest increases in England. Whether domestic or international visitors, I know the Yorkshire public will help stamp out hate crime wherever they see it and continue to showcase Yorkshire as a friendly, attractive and inspiring place to visit."

Gary and Julia jointly said: "Our message is this - North Yorkshire is an exceptional place to come and visit, hate crime is not tolerated in any way, shape or form, and we know residents and businesses will ensure that remains the case."

Andrew Newton, from Ripon, has been telling Stray FM about his experience of hate crime:

You can report hate crime by calling North Yorkshire Police on 101 or at www.stophateuk.org