Posted: Friday 19th October 2018
Avon & Somerset Police have a team of staff members who volunteer to be Hate Crime Champions. We are made up of all sorts of people including uniformed Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers, communications staff who work in handling 999 and 101 calls, Special Constables, and Specialist Investigators. The only quality we insist upon is a real commitment to improving the service that the police deliver to our diverse communities.
Hate Crime Champions, including myself, take responsibility to check the crimes motivated by prejudice in their local areas and ensure that those affected are offered the very best support for their individual needs. We are able to notice any trends and have regular meetings with their local Neighbourhood managers to positively address emerging issues in their area. We are well connected with victim services and local support charities which enable them to act on information reported to those organisations which might otherwise be missed if those affected did not have the confidence to speak directly with the police.
For example, a man had reported a homophobic hate crime where he was abused at work. A Hate Crime Champion reviewed the initial investigation and was able to refer the man to the local hate crime support service. The Champion was able to offer support to the Police Officer involved on how to secure the best evidence in the case. This resulted in a charge and a more serious sentence at court for the person responsible.
We are prominent and visible in our communities and always ready to help. We work with businesses to problem solve any issues they have and we try to be as visible as possible in our support of community events.
A police service can only ever improve by understanding and reflecting the communities it works amongst and I would encourage people to speak to us if you would like to know more about how you can get involved with your policing team and start helping us to make that positive difference.