Cheshire Constabulary is supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week (12-19 October 2013).
The week aims to raise awareness about the issues surrounding hate crime, encourage people to report incidents and drive home the message that it will not be tolerated.
Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender′s hostility towards someone because of their:
- race/ethnic origin
- gender identity
- sexual orientation
- or other personal characteristic
Cheshire Constabulary′s Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: "If you are a victim of hate crime or witness a hate crime taking place, always speak out and report it.
"Across Cheshire, we′ve seen an increase in people reporting hate crime and we want this figure to rise as victims become more confident in reporting crimes to the police."
On Monday 23 September, a special conference was held at Winsford Police HQ to discuss the difficult problem of getting more victims of hate crime to report their experiences.
The conference was attended by a variety of different organisations including local authorities, the NHS, fire service and charities.
Speakers included Cheshire Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire John Dwyer, Bernard Byrne (the Crown Prosecution Service hate crime prosecutor for Cheshire and Merseyside) and Paralympian Adrian Derbyshire.
Underreporting is a major issue in relation to all hate crimes and Cheshire Police has introduced a number of alternative reporting methods to encourage people to speak out.
Across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, many locations have been set up as community reporting centres, where anyone who does not feel comfortable contacting the police directly can attend to report hate crime.
A list of these centres is available on the Cheshire Police website.
For more information about hate crime and how to report it, visit the Cheshire Police website: http://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice--information/hate-crime.aspx.