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Officers and staff across Derbyshire are taking part in a national week of activity to encourage the public to recognise and report hate crime.
Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from October 12 to 19 and will be marked by the force with a number of events and activities across the county.
These include: competitions for school age children to produce a poster to encourage hate crime reporting, a mobile police tour where officers will be out engaging with local communities, and events run in conjunction with Tell Mama and Derbyshire LGBT+.
Between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, the force recorded 960 hate crimes. Of these, 721 were racial, 32 were religious, 158 concerned the victim’s sexual orientation, 77 were related to disability and 26 were against transgender members of the community.
Assistant Chief Constable Kem Mehmet said: “I want to spread the message that crimes born out of hatred will not be tolerated in Derbyshire. I want to empower anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of hate crime, or believes they know someone who has, to report it to us so that we can investigate.
“I also want to make people aware that hate crime doesn’t have to mean someone is physically violent towards you, it can also be verbal or online abuse or harassment based on who you are, or who someone thinks you are.
“Put simply, a hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.
“We know that in some cases, for whatever reason, those who have been affected by hate crime may not feel comfortable reporting an incident directly to police. In such cases incidents can be reported via True Vision, an organisation that acts as a third-party reporting centre and allows for relevant information to be passed on to us, subject to permission being granted by the person reporting.
“Hate crime has no place in society and I am committed to ensuring not only that we fully investigate crimes of this nature, but that we provide excellent support to victims and improve rates of satisfaction and confidence within our communities.”
For more information about hate crime and to access further reporting and support services you can visit the Stop Hate UK website.
Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “Hate crime is a vastly underestimated challenge. The crimes and incidents we see reported are just the tip of the iceberg.
“That’s why I am funding nine projects aimed at raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it.
“Hate crime is caused by prejudice, intolerance and bigotry. It has a big impact on the lives of its victims. I want Derbyshire to be a place where this type of behaviour is extinct. It is totally unacceptable and I think the time has come for society to stand together and make this perfectly clear.”
For information about the Hate Crime Awareness events happening in your area, take a look at your local Safer Neighbourhood Facebook page.
If you wish to report a hate crime to us, please get in touch using one of the following contact methods.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999.