Hate Crime Awareness Week runs this year between 13th to 20th October and aims to bring people together, stand by with those affected by hate crime and support those who need ongoing help.
Events taking place this week include 2 public community safety events about what hate crime is, an LGBT+ drop in event to a third party reporting centre training event at Isle of Wight College and schools across the Island will be holding assemblies with a hate crime awareness theme.
The activities will be raising awareness of what hate crime is and how to report it.
Further information about events taking place and how to report hate crimes, please visit the IOW Community Safety webpages at: www.iwight.com/communitysafety under the ‘Anti-social behaviour’ tab.
In 2017/18 there were 148 recorded hate crimes on the Island, up by 101 from the previous year, although this increase reflects improved victim confidence and more opportunities for victims and witnesses to report their experiences, for example, through independent third party reporting centres or online.
Councillor Tig Outlaw, Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, has said:
“We want to send out a strong message that there is ‘No Place for Hate’ on the Island and we invite everyone to join us in sending that clear message.
“Hate crime reporting here has increased in the past 2 years although this may in part be due to the new centres that have been set up on the Island, but bigotry and ignorance are unacceptable. I would like to encourage anyone suffering from this type of behaviour to come forward and know that they will be supported.”
Inspector Tracy Scrase, from Hampshire Constabulary, said:
“Hate crimes cover a multitude of incidents and offences which are motivated by hostility, prejudice or hatred towards someone’s actual or perceived race, disability, sexual orientation, faith/religion, gender or age. There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.
“The awareness week re-iterates that we want those who are victims of hate crime to feel confident to contact us because we’ll take your reports seriously, protect you, and make sure you get all the support you need.
“Hate crimes are also often reported by a third party. You do not have to be the victim or even know the victim of a hate incident to report it to the police. If you witness an incident, or someone tells you about one, you can report it to us on their behalf.”
How to report hate crime
• Call Police 101
• Visit True Vision website at http://www.report-it.org.uk/home
• Contact or visit a hate crime reporting centre – contact details for these can be found at www.iwight.com/communitysafety.