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Dorset Police is supporting the National Hate Crime Awareness Week

Dorset Police is supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week as part of its commitment to increase reporting and tackle these crimes. The week runs from 10 – 17 October 2020.

Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s protected characteristic or perceived characteristic of disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender.

Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crimes and incidents cause. Not only is there a significant impact on victims, but it can also affect family, friends and others in the community.

Despite the far-reaching impact hate crime and incidents can have, it is still known to be widely under-reported and Dorset Police is encouraging victims to come forward in confidence either directly to the police or to supporting agencies. 

The Dorset Police Hate Crime Lead, Superintendent Gavin Dudfield, said: ”If you are verbally or physically abused, or have your property damaged, or are harmed in any other way, and you perceive that the offender’s actions were motivated by your race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or your transgender identity, then professionals are available to take your report. You can make contact online, on the telephone (101 or 999 in an emergency), or through a trusted reporting centre. Full details can be found on our web page. Dorset Police Hate Crime.”

Dorset Police have implemented new training to frontline staff and investigators to in order to continually improve our services and ensure all criminal offences are investigated.

Not all reports received by the police reach the criminal threshold and Dorset Police work with committed partner agencies to offer support and guidance to victims who are still affected by a person’s actions. Many of these agencies can be found at Prejudice Free Dorset, prejudicefreedorset.org.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Last year, a wide range of organisations including my own signed up to the Prejudice Free Dorset charter, setting out a clear message that hate crime will not be tolerated.

“I know from speaking to victims that there can be a reluctance to report, sometimes because they don’t believe any action will be taken, and so I want to reassure everyone that these issues are taken incredibly seriously in Dorset.

“Please, if you are unfortunate enough to have experienced a hate crime or incident, make sure you report it – either to the police, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so directly, through one of the many third party reporting centres that exist across the county, a list of which can be found on the Dorset Police website.”

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