Nottinghamshire Police has launched a second week of action in its campaign to tackle violent crime.
Alliance Against Violence forms part of our strategy on violent crime and encompasses hate crime, robbery, domestic violence, and crime which take place in public spaces and during the night time economy.
The focus of this week of action is hate crime.
Hate Crime is defined by the Association of Chief Police Officers as ‘any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.’
Prejudice or hate may be based on characteristics such as race, religion, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation.
Chief Inspector Ted Antill is Force-lead for hate crime. He said: “The aim of this week is to raise awareness among agencies and communities of people targeted by prejudice and discriminatory behaviour.
“Hate crime attacks people’s fundamental right to go about their lives free from interference from other people.
“One of the issues we have to tackle is under reporting. This can be down to a number of reasons. Some people do not think anyone will take their complaint seriously, perhaps they don’t think the behaviour is serious enough or they may believe there is nothing that can be done. Sometimes for example in the case of homophobic hate crime the victim might not want to report it because they don’t want to tell colleagues or families they are gay.
“What I want to reassure everyone of is that there is action the police and partner agencies can take and we will investigate all incidents of hate crime.”
Last year the Force received 1,245 incidents of hate crime which ranged from verbal insults to physical assaults.
The outcomes of investigations included speaking to perpetrators about their behaviour, convictions at court, evicting them from the area they live in, putting court injunctions in place and restrictions on what they can and can’t do.
If the incident is deemed criminal, a greater sentence can be imposed, to reflect hate crime is a motivating factor).
A main focus of the week of action is promoting third party reporting, which offers people the opportunity to report incidents of hate crime to organisations other than police.
By reporting something to one of our partner organisations such as Stop Hate UK, information can be shared which doesn’t compromise the victim if they wish to remain anonymous.
Chf Insp Antill said: “We work with a number of different organisations such as Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Crown Prosecution Service, Victim Support, Stop Hate UK, Smile Stop Hate Crime and Communities Inc.
By working together we can reduce repeat victimisation, raise people’s confidence in reporting and help educate people about the consequences of their behaviour.
“Most instances of hate crime recorded are racially motivated but people can often confuse that with religiously motivated crime and it’s important to make that distinction.
“But there are many other strands. Singer Will Young was in the news last week talking about the impact of using terms such as gay or queer in a derogatory way. Hate crime linked to disability is significantly under reported and it is important to highlight the work of the support groups that are helping to raise awareness of other forms of prejudice.”
During the week of action officers, Police Community Support Officers, specials and volunteers will be engaging with different members of the community and helping to raise awareness of hate crime in schools and looking for new opportunities to engage with groups and communities.
Chf Insp Antill added: “Hate crime comes down to intolerance and ignorance of people or behaviours different to our own. We need people to realise the impact of their words and behaviour.
“We want people to have a greater understanding of what hate crime is. They might be witnessing it and not realising it is happening. I’d urge everyone to do what they can to ensure a greater tolerance of the differences which make our community so unique.”