VICTIMS and witnesses of hate crime are urged to report incidents to the police to help eradicate intolerant behaviour from society.
The reminder comes as Hate Crime Awareness Week runs across the UK until Sunday (October 16) to raise awareness of what hate crime is.
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.
It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.
Supt Damian Pettit, from West Mercia Police, said: “Put simply, a hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because they think there is something different about you.
“We know that some people affected by hate crime may not feel comfortable reporting an incident directly to police.
In such cases incidents can be reported via True Vision, an organisation that acts as a third-party reporting centre and allows for relevant information to be passed on to us, subject to permission being granted by the person reporting.
“Hate crime has no place in society and we are committed to ensuring not only that we fully investigate crimes of this nature but that we provide excellent support to victims and improve rates of satisfaction and confidence within our communities.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion added: “Being a victim of a hate crime can have a hugely detrimental impact. Being targeted for who you are, sets hate crime and its effects apart from most other types of crime.”
If you’ve been affected by hate crime in West Mercia, then support is available from the West Mercia Victim Advice Line. It’s a free and confidential service offering advice, practical help and emotional support, regardless of whether it has been reported to the police.
Support is available by calling 0800 9523000, via e-mail at [email protected] and through live chat on victimadviceline.org.uk.