Report hate crime in West Yorkshire plea as issue set for global attention

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson

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WEST Yorkshire Police and the county’s Crime Commissioner have renewed a plea for people to report race hate crime ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

The day, which will be marked with a series of events and activities worldwide, aims to remind people of racial discrimination’s negative consequences and encourages people to remember their obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, said: “As a police force, we work hard to understand and build relationships with our diverse communities across West Yorkshire and we appreciate that some individuals may be distrustful of police because of their own or others’ past experiences.

“Racist or xenophobic behaviour has no place in our communities and we all have a part to play in challenging it. It is vital that people have the confidence to come forward and tell us if they have either been a victim of, or witnessed, such behaviour. We take every report extremely seriously and will investigate thoroughly, putting support in place for the victim and ensuring that appropriate action is taken.

“Even if what’s happened isn’t a criminal offence, the police still need to know so we can ensure support and advice is offered to those involved and action is taken where appropriate.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, (pictured) Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “Hate crime is a crime committed against people when they are targeted because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity.

“We are supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to ensure people affected by this type of crime know they are not alone and that they can and should report it and they will be listened to.

“Along with West Yorkshire Police, as your Police and Crime Commissioner I am are committed to tackling all forms of hate crime, putting victims and witnesses at the heart of what we do, and ensuring that the right support services are available when needed.

Anyone with information about a hate crime or incident is asked to report it either by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime or in person at a police station.

Alternatively, there are independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) across West Yorkshire for anyone who does not want to speak directly to the police.

To find your nearest centre, visit the West Yorkshire Police website. There is also an independent online hate crime reporting facility on the True Vision website at www.report-it.org.uk