VICTIMS of hate crime are being urged to confront the problem by reporting the matter to police as part of a new campaign by West Yorkshire Police.
In the force’s latest Hate Hurts campaign video message, hate crime co-ordinators for Kirklees, PC Emma Harrison, explains her role, the differences between a hate incident and a hate crime, and encourages victims to have confidence to report both of these to the police.
The campaign was launched on Saturday to coincide with national Hate Crime Awareness Week this week and aims to give people a better understanding of what hate crime is and what they can do about it.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “Being who you are is not a crime, but being targeted because of race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity can be.
“Hate crime takes many forms including harassment, threats, offensive graffiti, physical abuse, vandalism and inciting hatred online. It can have both a devastating effect on a single victim and also has the potential to divide communities.
“We appreciate that some individuals may be distrustful of police because of their own or others’ past experiences and we work hard to understand and build relationships with our diverse communities across West Yorkshire.”
“Everyone has a part to play in reporting hate incidents, whether you are a victim, or a witness to hate crime. It may be that some incidents do not constitute a criminal offence but by letting us know we can ensure that support and advice are offered to those involved and action taken where appropriate. The reporting of incidents also helps us build up a picture of any emerging patterns and helps us to work with our communities.”