Suffolk Constabulary supports Hate Crime Awareness Week #NoHateInSuffolk
Suffolk Constabulary is committed to tackling hate crime across our communities. The National Hate Crime Awareness Week taking place 10-17 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 the last six months, April to September 2020, Suffolk Police recorded 559 hate crimes. This compares to 481 hate crimes reported between April and September 2019 and represents a 16% increase. Police believe that many incidents across all categories go unreported but the majority of crime reports relate to racially motivated hate crime.
The week of action sees the Constabulary continuing its partnership working with Community Safety Partnerships in Suffolk, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, Suffolk County Council, and Crimestoppers. In a bid to promote positive citizenship and understanding of diversity amongst children and young people a new ‘HOPE’ campaign is being launched within Suffolk schools.
Hate crime awareness
Operational response to hate crime
Prevent hate crime
Empower communities affected by hate crime.
Schools will also be invited to take part in the new Suffolk ‘HOPE’ awards in which they can nominate a child, young person or group who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting diversity or building community cohesion. Nominations for the awards will continue through the academic year.
The Suffolk UK Youth Parliament and Ipswich Youth Council, supported by Suffolk Police and Suffolk County Council have created a number of videos highlighting young people’s experience of hate crime in the county. They will be released in the coming days and it’s hoped that these testimonies will shine a light on the prejudice and hostility that some people suffer and offer guidance and support for those affected.
Police Community Engagement Officers are involved in a large range of activities across the county including hosting a public information stand on the Cornhill in Ipswich on Tuesday 13 October. On the same day a ‘street meet’ with community engagement officers will take place in the Britten Centre, Lowestoft. Visits and engagement with a number of diverse community groups are planned throughout the week to further raise awareness and encourage reporting of hate crime.
In further support of the week of action Crimestoppers are launching a ‘No Hate in Suffolk’ campaign to highlight that victims of hate crime can report incidents to the charity anonymously. A video explaining more about what hate crime is and how to report to Crimestoppers is to be released on their social media platforms.
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
Superintendent Kerry Cutler, the lead for Hate Crime at Suffolk Police said,
“While all crime is damaging to society, hate crime can seriously undermine the confidence and quality of life of both individuals and specific communities. The individual victim of the crime may suffer physical injuries or enduring emotional trauma. News of hate crimes spreads quickly through communities, increasing fear and lessening people’s willingness to express their identity and go about their normal lives. This is why tackling hate crime carries an importance beyond the individual crime itself. A robust response to hate crime helps build confidence within communities that they have the support of Police and wider society, so that the actions of a bigoted few should not be allowed to interfere with their right to share in our open, diverse community.”
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 Paul West, Chair of Suffolk's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Hate Crime Awareness Week is an important way to shine a light on prejudice and improve the understanding of diversity in our county. This year schools and young people are getting involved and learning about their peers’ experiences of hate crime and how they can be supported.
“It is concerning that there has been an increase in reports of hate crime in Suffolk and through the launch of the HOPE campaign we are promoting positive citizenship and cohesion in our communities.”
Norfolk & Suffolk Victim Care (commissioned by the Norfolk and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioners) said, “We offer free and confidential support to anyone affected by hate crime, whenever it happened, whatever took place, we are here to help. We also want show our solidarity with other local organisations who are working against hate crime in the region. #WeStandTogether with National Hate Crime Awareness Week. You can find us at @nsvictimcare on social media, or call us on 0300 303 3706”
For more information and advice visit www.suffolk.police.uk/hatecrime or https://crimestoppers-uk.org/campaigns-media/campaigns/give-information-anonymously-about-hate-crime-in-s
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