Sunday 21 July 2024
14.3 C

Council and police join to tackle hate crime in Notts

As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which began on Saturday, officers, supported by members of the council’s Community Safety team, are going door-to-door in key target areas to speak directly to residents and hand out leaflets.

Awareness is also being raised on social media, with vital information being shared about what a hate crime is, bow to report it and where to find additional support.

A hate crime is defined as any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be driven by hatred or hostility because of one or more of the following: race, ethnicity and nationality; religion, faith or belief; disability; gender identity; sexual preference, and age.

Inspector Nick Butler, district commander for Mansfield, said: “As police officers it is our job to protect everyone in our community. To do that effectively we need to build strong and trusting relationships that give people the confidence they need to come forward and seek our help.

“I am aware that in the past some victims of hate crime have been reluctant to report incidents to us. Some people may be afraid to come forward and other may even be unaware that the behaviours they have fallen victim to are actually criminal in nature.

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“Others may wrongly assume that the police have better things to do and don’t want to have to deal with these incidents. But that simply is not the case. It is absolutely unacceptable for any member of our community to be abused, harassed or assaulted in this way and we will continue to do whatever we can to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

“We also know that hate crimes can escalate over time – from name calling to more serious instances of assault. We have a responsibility to intervene in these incidents and to help people affected. That’s why we’re going out door-to-door this week to engage directly with people we either know have been victims in the past or we suspect could be victims in future. “

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, portfolio holder for safer communities, housing and wellbeing, said: “The council takes hate crimes very seriously and it is a feature of the Safer Streets initiative in the district.

“Most people probably know hate crimes cover all forms of racist abuse and attacks, and that includes attacks on people in the traveller and gypsy community.

“But they can also involve people who are gay, lesbian or trans gender, older people, or people with a disability, or those who have certain faith or religious beliefs.

“And attacks do not just have to be physical to be classed as a hate crime. They could be verbal or online or involve damage to property.

“No one should have to suffer abuse of this kind in silence and support is out there for victims of these types of crimes.

“It should also be emphasised that crimes can also be reported by witnesses to them, or third parties, as well as victims themselves.”

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