REDDITCH residents are being encouraged to report hate crimes and incidents after a national spike in reporting them.
A hate crime or incident occurs when a person is targeted because of their disability, race, colour, religion or belief, ethnic origin, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender, identity or age.
Hate crimes can include a person’s property, as well as the person themselves, and they do not have to be a member of a group to which hostility is targeted. Anyone can be a victim of hate crime and it can affect victims in every aspect of their life.
Retired magistrate Ken Hazeledene, chair of the North Worcestershire Hate Incident Partnership, said: “Following the Brexit vote on June 23, a number of articles have been in the press about hate crime and as a partnership we felt it was important to make sure residents had the details to be able to report any incident, whether they are the victim, or a witness. Besides a significant impact on victims it can also affect their family, friends and people in the community.
“These incidents are not right and we encourage everyone to report these crimes. Such feelings of fear and anxiety can impact on a person’s confidence and in turn make them afraid of reporting an incident. Remember you do not have to tolerate hate and reporting any incident, no matter how minor, can make a difference.”
“No one should have to live in fear and all hate crime should be reported.”
Councillor Yvonne Smith (Lab, Winyates) whose portfolio covers community safety, said: “Hate crime is never acceptable and we should always stand together against it. If you see or know of any incident, please, please, please, report it. Don’t leave it to someone else to report because then the crimes will continue.”
Residents, whether victim, family, friend or witness, are encouraged to report these crimes and incidents.
People can report locally by picking up a reporting form at any of the Worcestershire Hubs, visiting www.unitedagainsthate.co.uk or calling 0300 303 8838. People can also call the Police on 101 or in an emergency 999.