I am sure that there has been a significant amount of hate crime occurring across the country which was simply not reported to police. In Essex, we have worked hard to increase confidence in reporting hate crime, including the introduction by the police of specially trained Hate Crime Officers, the creation of Hate Incident Reporting Centres, and a ‘Stop the Hate’ campaign run with partner agencies.
Given this broad context, I welcome the increase in the number of hate crimes recorded by Essex Police. It suggests growing public confidence in reporting such crimes, enabling police to investigate and bring offenders to justice, and to work with partner agencies to stop hate crime occurring in the first place. The message is “Report it to Sort it”.
Racist, bullying or insulting behaviour is always unacceptable, and this increase in reported hate crime suggests we are making progress in combatting this problem.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex
Essex Police has issued the following statement about the hate crime report:
Initiatives by Essex Police to raise awareness and encourage reporting of Hate Crime in the county have resulted in a large rise in the number of reported incidents.
Figures released by the Home Office today (Tue Dec 17) show that hate crime incidents reported to the Force in 2012/13 increased by 18.9 per cent. This increase is a result of both a renewed confidence in victims coming forward and more diligent recording of this crime.
Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason said: “It has been widely acknowledged that hate crime within the UK has been vastly under-reported for a long time so I am extremely encouraged by this report.
“This clearly shows that the steps we have taken in Essex to address this issue have had an effect. They are beginning to work and victims are becoming more confident in reporting hate crimes to the police.
“In particular we have seen a significant rise in the number of victims of disability related hate incidents coming forward whereas in the past there had been virtually none.
“We know there is more to be done which is why we recently launched our ‘Stop the Hate’ initiative.
“We will continue to work in partnership with others who have expertise in the field, to ensure victims feel supported, and know that they will be dealt with in a sensitive and professional manner.
“It is important to raise awareness among the wider community – and for everyone to realise that hate crime and bullying will not be tolerated.”
Among the steps that Essex Police and its partners have taken to address the under reporting of Hate Crime are:
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