A drive is being pioneered by Lincolnshire Police which will help North Kesteven retain its status as the safest place in the country.
By focusing more sharply on efforts to raise awareness of hate crimes during National Hate Crime Awareness Week, beginning today (Saturday, October 10), together the partners in the NK Community Safety Partnership – which include the police and North Kesteven District Council – will be seeking to stamp down on such offending.
Hate Crime frequently goes under reported and we would encourage all victims and witnesses to report incidents when they happen so we can make Lincolnshire a safe and inclusive society.Andrew Bolland - Stop Hate UK
The purpose of the Hate Crime Awareness Week is to tackle Hate Crime issues by raising awareness of what Hate Crime is and how to respond to it, by promoting local and national support services and resources.
One of the key objectives of the week is to encourage reporting and help signpost people to support.
Inspector Dan Whyment, chairman of the multi-agency Hate Crime Delivery Group, said: “It’s clear that people in Lincolnshire have confidence in reporting race-related issues and that is really encouraging, but we want to do more to help victims of other hate related crime.
“We know that those affected by disability hate and LGBT hate are sometimes uncomfortable approaching police to discuss their worries and this is where Stop Hate UK, an independent third-party reporting body, can really offer a lifeline.”
As well as reporting incidents directly to police on 101 or 999, national charity Stop Hate UK are commissioned to provide their independent 24 hour reporting service throughout Lincolnshire.
Service users can contact the service on 0800 138 1625 or alternatively via text, email, webchat and online form (details at www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-me/ ) where they will receive specialist emotional and practical advice from trained operators who can also provide onward referrals to Lincolnshire based partner agencies.
Stop Hate staff are able to offer support and guidance and have direct access to the most appropriate agency to meet a victim’s needs.
Coun Mike Gallagher, chairman of the NK Community Safety Partnership, said it was essential that people who were subject to incidents of hate crimes – such as bullying and taunting through to physical attacks and offences of criminal damage – or aware of it, should not hesitate to report it in the broader interests of community cohesion and safety.
Andrew Bolland from Stop Hate UK said: “Hate Crime Awareness Week provides an opportunity to increase awareness of all forms of Hate Crime including that based on disability, faith, gender identity, race and sexual orientation. Hate Crime is a form of abuse that specifically targets a person’s identity and is recognised to have a disproportionate impact on those that are subject to abuse.
“Hate Crime frequently goes under reported and we would encourage all victims and witnesses to report incidents when they happen so we can make Lincolnshire a safe and inclusive society.”
Last year NK was ranked to have the lowest levels of crime of all kinds per 1,000 population of any area across England and wales. This was a second successive year with the lowest crime levels, a steady improvement over a number of years when it had consistently been in the top ten for safety.