From Devon & Cornwall Police:
Devon and Cornwall Police is today launching a campaign in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week (13th to 20th October 2018).
The campaign will support a number of events that are taking place across the region to celebrate the work that is being undertaken by our communities in our efforts to make the two counties that we live and work in as tolerant and inclusive as possible.
Hate crime is defined as any crime perceived to have been motivated by hostility or prejudice which can harm the very core of someone’s identity. It can be committed against a person or their property based on:
Detective Superintendent, Ken Lamont, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Hate Crime is an insidious type of crime which if left unchallenged can almost allow or give permission for a further hate crime to take place. The fundamental difference between hate crime compared to other crimes is the impact that it has on both the individual and the wider group that they represent. Hate crime is predicated on a prejudice or hatred that is motivated against a core part of a person’s identity, it is, for this reason, that impact of the crime is magnified.
“Devon & Cornwall Police are working hard with partners and the community to try and increase the reporting of both hate crime and hate incidents. We know from the crime survey across England and Wales that all crime is under-reported but especially so when it comes to hate crime. The data also shows us that such victims are more likely to be repeat victims of crime than other victims. It is for this reason that we need to work really hard to increase the confidence in our communities to report such crimes, as without such reports we can’t start to tackle the attitude and behaviour of the offenders and give support to those affected.”
Statistics show that Devon & Cornwall Police continue to see increases in reporting with a significant increase (33%) over the 12 months ending in August 2018.
Of the current five reported strands of hate crime: racist, homophobic, disablist, transphobic and religion/belief, we have seen increases in reporting which supports the view that all these groups are experiencing increases in confidence to report.
The increase builds on previous successes with a 71% increase when viewing data over the 12 months ending in August 2015.
When viewed on a national basis on crimes per 1000 of the population this places Devon & Cornwall as the 7th lowest of the 43 forces in England & Wales.
Detective Superintendent Lamont continued, “We know however that our work is far from done and that there are countless victims living in our community that are blighted by the behaviour and actions of others and it is only together that we can try to create the confidence in these people to reach out for support. We recognise that for many victims of hate crime the criminal justice system is not the best mechanism to deal with their experience but for those who do enter into the system, recently released data from the Crown Prosecution Service shows that over 9 out of 10 cases result in a conviction. This is really important information for those who are exposed to such hostility that their complaints will be taken seriously.
“Finally we recognise that Hate Crime Awareness Week is only one week out of 52 and we need the engagement and support of our communities to combat hate crime throughout the year.”
The Force will continue to promote its campaign ‘Zero tolerance to hate’ by encouraging businesses and premises across the region to sign up to the pledge and demonstrate that their school, library, taxi or fast food establishment or other business is an area or location where prejudice and hatred have no place.
By pledging your support you will:
- Promote an equal society to uphold the rights of everyone and we will work to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair treatment
- Foster good relations by promoting respect for each other and tackling prejudice
- Report any incidents of hate that are witnessed within our organisation/premises
For more information about the pledge please read About the Zero Tolerance Campaign.
On completion of the pledge you will be sent an email receipt so that you can collect a ‘Zero Tolerance to Hate Crime’ pack which includes a variety of posters and stickers.
Both individuals and businesses can support this campaign by filling in why you are supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week and taking a photo to share on Social Media and using one or more of the following hashtags: #NHCAW, #ZeroTolerance2Hate