Cleveland Police and the PCC for Cleveland are supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week, which begins tomorrow, Saturday 13th October.
The term ‘hate crime’ refers to any crime against a person which is perceived to be motivated by a person’s hostility or prejudice against certain characteristics including race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, has funded new roles within the Force to help those subjected to hate crime, including school liaison officers to educate children about hate crime and early intervention officers to disrupt in the behaviour of young people who could become future offenders.
Two dedicated hate crime investigators were also recruited following the PCC’s investment and over the last 12 months, they have achieved over 150 charges in relation to hate crime across Cleveland.
Acting Inspector Fay Cole, from Cleveland Police Communities and Partnerships, said: “Hate crime is an absolute priority for the Force and each case is investigated thoroughly.
“We work together with partner agencies to raise awareness of hate crime and to reassure anyone who may have been a victim to come forward and have the confidence to report it. We also work closely with third party reporting centres to offer as much support as possible to victims.
“Hate crime can cause a great amount of distress and we will continue to raise awareness, not only during awareness week but beyond it, to try to stamp it out.”
Mr Coppinger also funds Show Racism the Red Card to deliver anti-racism workshops in schools across Cleveland. Since April 2016, over 5000 children have taken part in these workshops.
He said: “Every person living, working and visiting the Cleveland area should have the freedom to be who they are, without the fear of physical or verbal attack.
“Sadly, we know hate crime goes unreported in Cleveland. I want to reassure victims that their report will be taken seriously and they will receive the full support of Cleveland Police, who now have specialist investigators to help.
“It can be easy for us to turn a blind eye to an incident if we are nervous about getting involved, but we cannot enable those who are determined to cause harm to others, simply for being themselves. Please report a hate crime whether it is happening to yourself or someone else.”
Tracy Easton, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS North East, said: “Safety and security and the right to live free from fear and harassment are fundamental human rights. Criminal offences that are driven by hostility or hatred based on personal characteristics undermine the very principles of fairness and equality upon which our society is built. Such crimes are based on ignorance, prejudice, discrimination and hate, and those values have no place in an open and democratic society.
“The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to supporting those affected by hate crime; whether it is on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. I would encourage anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of hate crime to take that vital first step and report it to the police. Where there is sufficient evidence of a hate crime, we will prosecute and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions.”
A number of events will be held across Cleveland throughout Hate Crime Awareness Week. These include officers having stands in public areas as listed below:
- 10am-12pm on Tuesday 16th Oct – Stockton Central Library
- 9am – 12pm Wednesday 17th Oct – James Cook University Hospital
- 10am-12pm Wednesday 17th Oct – Stockton Central Library
- 10am – 12pm Thursday 18th Oct – Billingham Library
- 10am-12pm Friday 19th October – Thornaby Library
Posted on Friday 12th October 2018