What is it like to be a victim of hate crime? Sadly too many people have experience of how it feels to be judged because of their race and culture, their sexuality, or simply because they are different.
Following the EU Referendum result last week there have been reports nationally of increases in hate crime although there have been no indications up to now across the Avon and Somerset area to suggest this pattern is being repeated locally.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am appalled to hear the effect the EU Referendum result has had on hate crime nationally. No one should feel judged because of their race, gender, sexuality or, in this case, their beliefs.
“To bring an end to hate crime for good, it’s essential that the police know about any form of hate crime you’ve experienced so they can respond. If you’re a victim of hate crime please know you’re not alone, help is available.
“Together we must stand united against those who incite prejudice and hate. We must celebrate our differences and condemn those who discriminate.”
Avon and Somerset Police works closely together with our partners and communities to stamp out hate crime, and celebrate difference. Supt Will White, Avon and Somerset Police lead for hate crime, said: “Hate crime can have a devastating impact on victims and their quality of life; it divides communities and neighbourhoods.
"We will always support anyone who is victimised and work closely with all communities to stamp out crimes motivated by prejudice and hate. If you or someone you know is a victim please don’t hesitate, call us.”
Local policing teams across the force monitor tensions in local communities and gather intelligence. To help them do their job it is important that hate incidents - whether verbal, physical or on social media – are reported to us. Improved recording of these crimes helps us to build a better understanding and improve services for victims in communities where hate crimes are evident.
Anyone with information about a hate incident should report it either by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency, or in person at a police station.
We would always prefer to speak to people on the phone or in person but if contacting us online is the safest way to get in touch victims can complete our online reporting form - https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us/report-a-crime-or-incident/
If you are unsure or uncomfortable about contacting us directly you can report through an independent agency or online at www.report-it.org.uk
Posted on Tuesday 28th June 2016