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New service provides better support for hate crime victims

October 9, 2021
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Nottinghamshire Police is now providing an even better service to hate crime victims and increasing trust and confidence that the force treats the issue seriously.

More regular welfare checks are now being carried out by the force's hate crime team who call victims to make sure they are kept updated as well as offering support. The force’s enhanced service has already contributed to an increase in victim satisfaction.

Since the new process was implemented in July hate crime officers have made over 845 welfare check calls to victims who are now called 12 days after their initial report to ensure they are supported and receive timely updates on their cases.

Nottinghamshire Police has announced details of the improvements as it makes a rallying call for people to call out hate crime in all its forms as an annual national awareness campaign kicks off today (Saturday 9 October).

The force is working closely together with its partners, including Nottingham City Council, to deliver a range of activities in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

These include educational talks and events hosted online, available county-wide, explaining what hate crime is, why it’s important to report it, how to report it and what support is available.

Hate crime is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice against protected characteristics such as:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender
  • Misogyny
  • Alternative sub-culture (e.g. goth)

Hate crime can take any shape and can disguise itself under many different names (homophobia, Islamophobia or racism to name a few).

It isn't always illegal behaviour but, whichever name it's taking, it's still wrong and Nottinghamshire Police can take action against offenders.

Superintendent Sukesh Verma, Nottinghamshire Police’s strategic hate crime lead, said: “All year round we remain committed to tackling hate incidents in all their forms and I want to reassure people that we treat all reports very seriously as well as supporting victims.

“The impact of hate is often not seen overtly but it can have a huge personal impact as it targets the individual for who they are and what they believe in.

“As a force we have seen a rise in hate crime reporting which reflects increased victim confidence in coming forward and reporting their experiences to us.

“It also shows that our community engagement to provide knowledge and support victims is working.

“However we believe hate crime is still being under-reported and we want to encourage more victims to come forward and build up their confidence in the knowledge they will be listened to and supported.

“In order to provide the best quality service to all hate crime victims, the force’s hate crime team now delivers mandatory core hate crime training to all newly recruited officers and call handlers and training sessions are offered out throughout the year to police staff members and officers.

“We have recently implemented a new hate crime welfare checks process to raise victims’ satisfaction and address concerns raised by victims.

“This new process has already seen an increase in satisfaction levels since it was implemented as we continue to strive to bring about positive change in our society.”Between August 2020 and July 2021 a total of 2,444 hate crimes were reported in Nottinghamshire compared to 2,393 reported between August 2019 and July 2020.

Nottinghamshire Police is also continuing to work closely with schools and universities to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage people to report it.

Supt Verma added: “An increasing proportion of hate crime is now committed online and via social media which can have a huge impact on victims and their mental health.

“I want to reassure people that we will investigate reports of this nature and if an offence has been committed we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.”

In support of the national week of action Nottinghamshire Police hate crime officers Marta Bugajska and Lisa Wallis have worked with Nottingham City Council and the Safer Nottinghamshire Board to produce an informative glossary of accessible resources aiming to educate and inspire members of the public to celebrate not only our commonalities but also our differences.

Marta and Lisa, alongside the council’s community cohesion team, have taken the lead in organising a free online event ‘understanding and reporting hate crime’ which takes place on Monday (11 October) to launch the hate crime awareness week.

It follows requests for Nottinghamshire Police to deliver more hate crime training to members of the public.

The force’s hate crime team will also be supporting a free disability hate crime-related online event where hate crime officers will give a talk to raise awareness of incidents of hate which often go unreported by people with disabilities.

There will also be various other free online events and conversations during the week that members of the public are encouraged to join.

Chief inspector Duncan Southall, the force’s tactical lead on hate crime, said: “The main aim of all the online sessions is to raise awareness of hate crime, encourage reporting and inspire the public to have open and honest conversations about how such incidents may be affecting them, the wider community and community cohesion.

“Nottinghamshire Police takes hate crime very seriously all year round and works tirelessly to raise awareness and encourage reporting, not just during National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

“All hate crime is serious and everyone has the right to live their life without fear of prejudice, discrimination and hate.

“The important thing is that, if it's happening because of who you are, then it needs reporting.”

To report a hate crime you can call 999 in an emergency, 101 for non-emergencies or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also report a hate crime online at www.report-it.org.uk.

To further bolster the week of awareness Nottinghamshire Police hate crime officers, alongside the force’s dedicated school and early intervention officers, will be attending Nottingham College next month to engage with students and staff and talk about hate crime and the importance of reporting.

Details of online events being held for Hate Crime Awareness Week are listed below.

Monday 11 October, 9.30am-11.30am

Understanding and reporting hate crime

This session will begin with council portfolio holder councillor Neghat Khan introducing the week’s activity.

This will be followed by a hate crime awareness training session, hosted by a police hate crime officer.

In response to requests, the training will cover understanding what a hate crime is, the reporting processes and why it’s important to report hate crimes and incidents.

Feel free to join us for whichever elements of the session that will be of most interest to you.

To register visit Eventbrite - Hate Crime awareness week and how to report it

Wednesday 13 October, 12pm-2pm

Racism, misogyny and my headscarf

To register visit Eventbrite - Racism, mysogyny and my headscarf.

For further information please call Zaynab on 07847 452023 or email enquiries@nmwn.co.uk

Wednesday 13 October, 2.30pm-4.30pm

Let’s talk disability

To register for a place please go to: Eventbrite - Let's talk disability

Thursday 14 October, 12.30pm-2pm

Let’s talk about LGBT+ hate crime

To register for a place please go to: Eventbrite - Lets talk about LGBT+ and hate crime.

Details of in person partner events taking place during hate crime awareness week are as below:

Thursday 14 October, 4pm-6pm

Fearless Youth Association: The Unspoken Debate: Let’s talk about hate crime

The Marcus Garvey Centre, Unit 8, Howitt Wing Building, Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2BY

To book email: info@fyaonline.com or call 07934 305508

Friday 15 October, 4.30pm-6.30pm

Communities Inc, New Art Exchange and National Justice Museum: Walk the Talk – Silence Is Not An Option

The walk will start at the Brian Clough statue, Old Market Square, Nottingham city centre, at 4.30pm and will follow an accessible route through the city centre, ending at the National Justice Museum.

There will then be the premiere screening of Silence Is Not An Option, a collaborative community film exploring what it means to be actively anti-racist. Written and performed by spoken word artists, Mr.Shay and JayaHadADream, this film is part of an ongoing project led by New Art Exchange and Communities Inc.

Booking is via the New Art Exchange website.

Places for this free event are limited. Booking is required and refreshments are included.

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