On 23 September a hate crime conference was held at Cheshire Constabulary HQ in Winsford. Its purpose was to bring a variety of different agencies together under one roof. With the main topic of conversation being; ‘how to encourage more people to report incidents of hate crime’.
The conference was attended by a variety of different organisations including; local authorities, the NHS, Fire service, and a variety of charities. Whilst the speakers included; Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, Bernard Byrne (the Crown Prosecution Service hate crime prosecutor for Cheshire and Merseyside), and Adrian Derbyshire (a paralympian).
ACC Purdie said: "We have seen an increase of 18% of people reporting hate crime. We want this figure to increase as victims become more confident when reporting crimes to the police. By holding this conference, I wanted to speak to a variety of agencies to find out how we can encourage more people to report these crimes to the Constabulary. "
John Dwyer said: "I want to make sure that the service victims of hate crime get from Cheshire Constabulary is the best. Speaking to a variety of people at the event and discussing some of the incidents that they’ve heard about or been involved in is harrowing to hear.
It’s important that the police hear about any form of hate crime that you or someone you know has experienced. If they’re not made aware of it, they are unable to help. I can assure you that you will be listened to, and such crimes will be thoroughly investigated.
Our success in terms of prosecution is significant, 100% of those prosecuted for disability hate crime, for example, have been found guilty."
John added: "On Friday, I’m launching my victim survey, asking victims of crime to give me honest feedback so I can help shape services in the future. If anyone would like to give me their feedback, I would be extremely grateful."
More information about the victim survey can be found on www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk