As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, Hertfordshire’s Hate Crime Partnership Board wants to understand how people feel about reporting hate crime.
Hate crimes are crimes that are committed against a victim because of their disability, their race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. They can have a devastating impact on the victim, their family, friends and the community around them.
Please take a moment to respond to the online survey: bit.ly/herts-hatecrime during this week.
They’re asking what barriers are there in reporting hate crime and what you think can be done to improve this?
Cllr Morris Bright, Executive Member for Community Safety at Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘It’s really important that we work together to encourage residents to report hate crime so that we can learn more about this pernicious behaviour in order to seek to prevent it from happening in the future. Completing this survey will help agencies in Hertfordshire understand why some residents might hesitate to report hate crime – take part now so that we can work together to find a solution.;
Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Superintendent Matt Phillips, said: ‘Tackling hate crime is not just a matter for policing. We can’t simply arrest our way out of hate crime. It’s a societal issue and the solution is much broader than that.
‘Many hate crimes simply go unreported and this means that they’re not investigated, suspects aren’t dealt with and are left to reoffend. Also, victims aren’t accessing the support they’re entitled to and the help that they need to move on.
‘Victims don’t need to report crimes or incidents directly to police, we have third party reporting centres spread across the county with access in person, by phone and online, as well as national organisations supporting victims, too.
‘It’s key that we all work together towards the Hertfordshire Hate Crime Board Partnership’s strategy to achieve the key objectives of raising awareness of what a hate crime is in our communities, how and where people can report hate crimes to and for victims to have confidence to report hate crimes in the first place.
‘After all, if we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about stopping it.’
Josie O’Driscoll, chief officer at Herts support group Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment (GATE), said: ‘Report Racism GRT is a hate incident reporting site and support service that is run by and for Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in the UK by GATE Herts. Gypsy, Roma, Travellers (GRT) experience a shockingly high degree of discrimination, prejudice and racism in their daily lives. Our aim is to raise awareness among Gypsy Roma and Travellers about hate crimes and the need to report them. We are working to improve reporting rates and we want hate crimes against GRT to be given the same recognition and public profile as other hate crimes.’
Hertfordshire Constabulary will always handle reports of hate crimes sensitively and victims can access support through the force’s specially trained hate crime officers or via Hertfordshire Victim Care Centre Beacon.
Victims do not have to contact police directly to report a crime. They can report at a number of third-party reporting centres in Hertfordshire or online at report-it.org.uk.
For more information about where to report hate crime visit hertsagainsthate.org
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