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Help for hate crime victims

Help for hate crime victims

Published at 8:56am 11th April 2015. (Updated at 9:30am 11th April 2015)

A new 24-hour telephone helpline has been launched to support victims of hate crime in North Yorkshire.

It's part of a campaign by North Yorkshire Police to tackle the issue county-wide.

Hate crime is defined as any act of hostility or violence which is directed at a person because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief.

There were 387 recorded hate crime incidents in the county in 2013/14, which is a 21% increase compared with two years ago.

Police believe that the real number of incidents could in fact be far higher, due to under-reporting of offences.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: "Anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of people who suffer from hate crime far exceeds the number of reports that are made, and we want to change that. 

"Part of the reason for low reporting is that many people aren’t sure exactly what a hate crime is, or where and how to report it. 

"We want to spread the word that name-calling, verbal threats, graffiti, bullying and damage to personal property doesn’t have to be tolerated, and that victims of such behaviour can call the Stop Hate helpline to report what has happened and get advice on what to do."

The Stop Hate UK helpline is available on 0800 138 1625 and is staffed by trained operators 24 hours a day.

An online chat service is also available at www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us