Supporting National Hate Crime Awareness week
Anyone can be a victim of hate crime and targeted for their race, sexuality, religion, disability or transgender identity. I will never condone any form of hate crime and I will always encourage any victim to speak out.
I am pleased that more hate crimes are being reported in Dorset, however, we know that this type of crime is generally under reported, often because victims are unsure or scared to tell anyone. We need everyone working within the criminal justice system to take hate crime seriously to ensure that everyone can access the help and support they need and deserve, for example through the hate crime app which allows individuals to report in the privacy of their own homes.
I am committed to reducing hate crime and for example have recently co-commissioned with Wiltshire PCC, a LGBT caseworker operating across both counties, who provides specialist support for victims of LGBT hate crime. I also support the national Stand Together campaign, which was launched by Sir Peter Fahy in Manchester this year, to defeat hatred and extremism in our communities. It is important that people to get in touch with the police if they feel they are a victim of hate crime even if there is no prosecution so at least they can get appropriate support as often, these type of offences have long lasting impact on victims especially if they have suffered repeated abuse which can often affect physical and mental wellbeing.
There is a huge range of work we are doing to strengthen community confidence and cohesion in Dorset, for example through targeted community engagement and our work with partners on the Prejudice Free group, who will be showcasing their work at a conference in the New Year. We also continue to enable Equality Champions to support officers in dealing with hate crime and incidents.
It is so important that the impact of hate crime on a victim or community is not underestimated, it ruins lives. The importance of ‘getting it right’ is key to building and maintaining trust and confidence of victims and to encouraging more people to report. This is how we stand together to deliver our collective responsibility.
No-one should suffer in silence.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner