Victims of hate crime in Essex are being given 24-hour access to a helpline
Stop Hate UK provides emotional support, as well as advice and information on staying safe in the home or in the community. It also helps with guidance on how to navigate the criminal justice system, as well as how to hold statutory and other bodies to account.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex has provided £22,500 from the 2018-2019 Community Safety Fund to Stop Hate UK to continue to provide a support and information line for victims of hate crimes or incidents in the county.
The 24-hour reporting and support line, established as part of the MacPherson Inquiry, covers –
• Gender identity
• Religion, faith or belief
• Sexual orientation
Lauren McSpadden is the Victim Support Hate Crime Champion who works with the Strategic Hate Crime Prevention Partnership to raise awareness of the Stop Hate UK line. She said: “The PFCC funding is crucial to the provision of this line in Essex. Without the funding, victims of hate crime would not have access to a 24-hour line in Essex.”
The dedicated Essex number – 0800 138 1625 – gives victims an opportunity to talk about their experiences and to explore their options, whether that be to take things further by reporting to the police or to get advice on housing.
Lauren said: “Often, victims want to call someone for help out of normal office working hours.
“The charity has a really good knowledge of online hate crime and can give victims the right information and support, with experts victims can speak to any time of the day or night. The helpline is really useful if victims need immediate emotional support out of hours.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This service offers 24 hour expert advice and guidance which I really hope will help anyone who has been a victim of hate crime. “Victims are at the heart of everything we do. If we can offer the right kind of support and guidance that not only helps people recover from being a victim of crime but also helps to bring their perpetrators to justice then that is a good thing.”
If you have experienced or been a witness of a hate crime then please contact Stop Hate UK 0800 138 1625 for support.
For other available support for victims of crime, please visit https://www.essexvictimsgateway.org/