Victims champion Chris Cutland has stressed the importance of victims of hate crime reporting all incidents to the police and to seek support.
The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire was adamant that people should not suffer in silence but come forward. “This is a horrible crime that can cause deep distress and fear. I want to assure anyone who becomes a target that they will be taken seriously by the police, and that there is help available,” she said.
“Both the police and victim support services understand how damaging hate crime can be,” she went on. “They are keen to do all they can to put a stop to it and, at the same time, help those on the receiving end to recover.”
Her comments underline the efforts of National Hate Crime Awareness Week which commenced yesterday (11 Oct). She pointed out that raising awareness of hate crime was a crucial step towards tackling its under-reporting, and ensuring that victims have the help they need.
Ms Cutland also touched upon other plans for victim services, including a county-wide group set up to look at the services available. “We are currently tendering for the entirety of victims services to ensure an integrated response,” she said. “We want to see equitable services across the City and County. We are also working with the force to tackle the problem and increase confidence in reporting.”
She added that dealing with hate crime needs a joint approach with other partners. “This is not purely a police issue but one that is most successfully handled with the help of other services and agencies across Nottinghamshire,” she pointed out.
Nottinghamshire’s Hate Crime Steering Group, chaired by Ruth Hyde, will be co-ordinating responses of all partners to the report and organising a conference in December to consider it in detail. Meantime, a sub-group will also be set up to improve statutory partners’ response to hate crime and to manage their action plans. The Group will also be holding a Hate Crime Conference in December to look specifically at issues regarding the victims.
Nottinghamshire Police said that they will be launching their new operational guidance for police officers in the near future.
Hate crime is defined as any incident which constitutes a criminal offence perceived by the victim or another person as being motivated by prejudice, hate or intolerance on the grounds of disability, gender identity, race and ethnicity, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Incidents might involve physical attacks to someone or their property, threats such as offensive letters or phone calls, cyber bullying and verbal abuse or insults.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Sunday 12th October 2014