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Hate crime victims told "report it so we can sort it"

Hate crime victims told "report it so we can sort it"

Published at 6:01am 11th October 2015.

North Yorkshire Police is supporting a national campaign to spread the message that hate crime won't be tolerated and to encourage victims to report it.

Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

It can take the form of:

  • Physical attacks - such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbourhood disputes and arson.
  • Threat of attack - including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone call, intimidation or malicious complaints.
  • Verbal abuse or insults - including offensive letters and posters, abusive gestures and bullying at school or in the workplace.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: "North Yorkshire Police take hate crime extremely seriously and encourage anyone who has been a victim to come forward and report it. Everyone has a right to live without fear - being who you are is not a crime - but being threatened or harassed because of it is.

"We would ask victims if they are under immediate threat or attack to call 999. Alternatively, you can report it to North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the Supporting Victims service or Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625."

Figures for hate crime are relatively low in North Yorkshire, but it's believed that this may be due to people either not being aware that they have been subject to a crime or reluctance to report it.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: "We know that hate crime is under-reported, but the reasons for this are not clear. In my Police and Crime Plan, I have set out a clear objective for improvements to be made in response to feedback from the public.

"I know the police take this very seriously, and that once the North Yorkshire specific report I have commissioned is finalised, further improvements to the service will be made. In the meantime, it is important for people to report incidents to the police, or if they feel they'd rather talk to someone independent, they can call Supporting Victims on 01904 669276. The team are trained to ensure victims get the help they need."

More information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week at www.stophateuk.org/hate-crime-awareness-week