Schoolchildren in Hertfordshire will be learning what hate crime is and how they can help make it a thing of the past, thanks to a new training scheme.
The Herts Against Hate collaborative, including Hertfordshire Constabulary, the county council and partners, last week launched the free teaching unit for schools to use in PSHE/RSHE.
Produced by Herts for Learning (HfL) Wellbeing Team on behalf of the Hertfordshire County Community Safety Unit (CCSU), it is an ideal resource for schools ahead of Hate Crime Awareness Week in the autumn, providing an age-appropriate series of lessons and resources for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils (Years 5-6 and 7-9).
‘We want young people to grow up knowing that hate crime is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire and you should report it, not ignore it,’ explained Hertfordshire Constabulary’s hate crime lead, Detective Chief Inspector Pete Frost.
‘The impact of hate crime can be devastating. It can cause people to lose their confidence and be fearful about coming and going from their home, being out and about in public places or just going about their daily lives.’
Cllr Morris Bright, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘We want to make Hertfordshire safer for everyone, rejecting hatred and violence of all kinds. The lesson resources are a simple way of teaching children about hate crime, how to report it and showing understanding and empathy to victims of hate crime.’
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, whose office leads the Hertfordshire Hate Crime Partnership Board, said: ‘We know crimes motivated by hate can have a devastating effect on victims and communities.
‘I recognise the challenges in relation to the under-reporting of hate crime, particularly relating to disability, and the increased use of cyber, including social and digital media, as a means to target and exploit the vulnerable. I am pleased that thanks to the countywide Hate Crime Strategy, partners now have a better understanding of, and response to, hate crimes of all types.
‘We must ensure that we continue to work together to prevent hate crime and bring offenders to justice, while also giving victims the confidence to report the crime allowing them to cope and recover.’
You can report hate crime online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101. In an emergency dial 999. Alternatively report it anonymously via the True Vision website report-it.org.uk.
For more information about hate crime visit hertsagainsthate.org.