National Hate Crime Awareness Week
Suffolk Constabulary is committed to tackling hate crime across our communities.
National Hate Crime Awareness Week, taking place 9 to 16 October, is an opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of what hate crime is and to encourage victims to come forward as #WeStandTogether and work for #NoHateInSuffolk
Hate crime not only has a harmful effect on its victims by attacking who they are as individuals because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, but also on their families and communities. It includes online and verbal abuse as well as physical assaults.
In 2020 (Jan – Dec) there were 1,228 reported hate crimes/incidents to Suffolk police. This compares to 1,043 reported hate crimes/incidents in 2019. So far this year, the force has recorded 987 from start of the year to end of September.
Suffolk is seeing increased reporting, with offences and incidents of transphobia and disability-based hate increasing, in line with national trends, and by far the biggest number of reported offences/incidents are in respect of racially motivated hate crime.
The week of action sees the force continuing its work with Community Safety Partnerships in Suffolk, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, Suffolk County Council, and Crimestoppers.
Community Engagement Officers will be involved in a large range of activities across the county and posters are being displayed across the Co-Operative stores to raise awareness of the issue. Leaflet drops will also be held in libraries, hospitals and other areas with a high footfall. Officers will also be giving educational inputs to schools on the topic and visits are planned throughout the week to further raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime.
The county council will focus on raising awareness of online abuse through a targeted social media campaigns throughout the week encouraging people to make a pledge. Follow #NoHateInSuffolk for more information.
Late this week on Wed 13 October, as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, the force and our partners will also be launching the second HOPE Awards, the aim of which is to recognise and celebrate the positive contributions that young people make within the county.
Given that hate crime incidents often take place in public spaces including public transport, police are offering advice to those who may be witnesses. There are safe and simple things that you can do, so you don’t feel like you are putting yourself at risk. Remember that your safety is a priority.
Watch, be a witness. Don’t turn away as it gives the message to the offender that their behaviour is normal and acceptable.
Observe and pay attention to what is happening, the description of the offender, where you are, what time it is, so that you have the best information when you report it.
Inform security, staff or other people that might be able to help.
Once you are in a safe space you can then report the incident as a witness directly to the Police www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime or call 101
Remember – in case of emergency always call 999.
Check in with the victim if possible, even if it’s after the incident.
Check if the victim is OK. Ask if they need you to call anyone for them.
Let them know of support services available and how they can report the incident www.suffolk.police.uk/hatecrime
Inspector Vicky McParland, said: "Attacks on our diverse Suffolk community sadly, continue to be an issue. These attacks maybe verbal, physical or online and the victim can suffer physical injuries, mental and/or enduring emotional trauma, and ultimately leave many feeling unsafe in their homes or going about their daily business.
“This is why Hate Crime Awareness Week across the county remains as important as ever.
“Each hate crime that is not reported is a missed opportunity to support the victim. Only by increasing reporting can we gain a full understanding of the extent of hate crime and so I take this opportunity that I urge victims and witnesses to continue to come forward to report incidents to the police or to any third party reporting agencies across the county.”
Suffolk Police Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said: "Everyone has a right to live safely in Suffolk without the fear of prejudice or discrimination. It goes without saying that we should treat each other in a respectful way, but if that’s not the case, we need to support victims of discrimination and ensure they have the confidence to report.
“The Constabulary takes hate crime seriously all year round but I do support this #NoHateInSuffolk awareness week which gives us the opportunity to highlight the issue and encourage victims to report hate crime. If, for whatever reason, victims decide not to go to the police, Norfolk &Suffolk Victim Care can offer support or if anonymity is required you can report a hate crime to Crimestoppers. I would encourage anyone affected by hate crime to please seek support.”
Cllr Andrew Reid Chair of Suffolk's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important way to raise awareness of hate crime and raises awareness of how victims can access support. Hate crime is a key priority for the Safer Stronger Communities Board (SSCB) and the national week of action enables us to highlight the importance of this work across Suffolk”.
Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive of the East of England Co-op, said: “We’re proud to be standing with our community against hate crime this Hate Crime Awareness Week. As a community retailer, it’s important for us to support the excellent work that is going on tackle hate crime across our region.
“Throughout the week we’ll be displaying posters in all of our stores that will help to raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime, so when you see them make sure you take a look to find out how you can keep yourself and others safe.”
Tom Edwards, Victim Support’s Deputy Service Director said: “It’s incredibly concerning that there has been significant increases in hate crime incidences across Suffolk.
“Despite the fact that hate crime is under reported, we are still seeing high numbers of victims seeking support, particularly following racial hate crime, and know too well the devastating impact it can have. Victims not only live with pain and suffering from facing horrendous abuse, but it damages their sense of safety, wellbeing and self-worth which takes years to re-build.
“We want victims to know that hate crime is a serious offence and there is support available to anyone who needs it. No one should ever fear being abused or discriminated against for who they are.”
Hate Crime can be reported directly to police online www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime or anonymously via True Vision.
If you prefer to speak to someone, please dial 101, where someone will be able to help you.
Always dial 999 when life is threatened or people are injured, or if there is a crime in progress or an immediate police response is necessary.
If you have been a victim of or witness to a hate crime and are in need of support, please contact Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, who offer advice and support to help you cope and recover from the impact of crime. It doesn’t matter how long ago the crime happened or if it has been reported.
Phone: 0300 303 3706 Website: www.nsvictimcare.org Facebook/Twitter @nsvictimcare
Information for young people is also available on The Source website: www.thesource.me.uk/HateCrime
For more information on the National Hate Crime Awareness week please visit https://nationalhcaw.uk
For further crime prevention advice do visit www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z
Two hate crime leaflets can be found on the right hand side.