The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Mark Shelford, shows support for National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which takes place this week (14 – 21 October).
Hate Crime Awareness Week aims to improve operational responses to Hate Crime, prevent this type of crime and empower communities and individuals affected.
Hate crime is a criminal offence that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other perceived difference.
Hate crimes can include:
- Offensive letters or text messages (hate mail) or phone calls
- Offensive leaflets and posters
- Physical attacks such as assaults
- Sexual harassment
- Threats of an attack
- Vandalism, criminal damage, graffiti or arson
- Verbal abuse or abusive gestures
If you witness a hate crime
Offer support for the victim. Whilst the incident is taking place and only if you feel safe to do so. Let the victim know they are not alone.
Understand. Console the victim after the event, show you understand them, and acknowledge that hate has no home in your community.
Tell the police. If you witnessed a hate crime it is important to report the details, even if you do not feel comfortable to report it at the time.
You can report an incident using the Avon and Somerset Police online report a crime or incident form. If the incident is not necessarily a criminal offence, it should still be reported. There is a specific page on the Avon and Somerset Police website for Hate Crime: Report hate crime | Avon and Somerset Police
Or if you would prefer to report anonymously you can get in touch with Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or use their online form.
PCC, Mark Shelford recently discussed hate crime in his Performance and Accountability Board (PAB), with Chief Constable (CC), Sarah Crew. If you would like to see PCC hold CC Crew accountable on hate crime, please watch here or read more here.