North Kesteven District Council will be signing up to the Hate and Mate Crime Charter in order to protect its residents from these types of offences.
By taking this action, the council is making a commitment to not only make sure there is understanding about these crimes, but also to dealing with them.
The document has been prepared for Lincolnshire and all local authorities are being asked to evaluate themselves against the standard containing ten points. Once a self-evaluation has been completed action plans are put in place for any that don’t meet the ‘green’ and highest level.
A hate crime is any criminal offence where the victim has been targeted because of their race or ethnicity, religion or belief, gender or gender identity, disability, age, sexual orientation, or any other actual or perceived difference.
It can take many forms, including physical attacks, threats, verbal abuse, murder, neighbour disputes, arson, graffiti, intimidation or harassment, bullying and cyber bullying.
Mate crime is where a person is befriended and then exploited by someone they think of as a friend, with vulnerable people in communities particularly exposed to this type of offence.
Hate and mate crimes can have a huge impact on their victims, so much so that people in some situations have tragically taken their own lives.
Coun Mike Gallagher, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Hate and mate crimes are a violation of personal and civil rights and action can only be taken if they are reported to the police, council or other appropriate agencies.
“No one has the right to harass, threaten, intimidate or assault anyone because of who they are or who they are perceived to be.
“North Kesteven is recognised as being the safest place in the country and we want it to remain that way so that residents can lead safe and secure lives in their communities.”
As well as agreeing to signing up to the Hate and Mate Crime Charter, NKDC’s Executive Board has also given approval to training officers and members on these subjects provided by Just Lincolnshire, an organisation that tackles discrimination and celebrates the richly diverse make up of the county.
Anyone who wants to report a hate crime anonymously can contact Stop Hate – an organisation working to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination with independent and confidential support for victims, witnesses and third parties. Call them on 0800 138 1625.