Hate Crime week

16 Feb 2015 09:00 AM

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Northumbria Police is launching a forcewide Hate Crime week (February 16 to 23) and will be hosting a number of events to raise awareness and encourage reporting.

Supported by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, officers and staff will be out and about talking to communities about hate crime, what it is and how to report it.

Targeting anyone because of a personal characteristic, whether it’s verbal or physical abuse, is a hate crime and police want people to report all incidents to them directly or via a dedicated hate crime reporting centre.

As part of this drive to promote better understanding, officers will be visiting shopping centres, local businesses, universities and community groups taking the message ‘being you is not a crime – targeting you is’.

Students at Westgate College and Newcastle University are amongst those who will learn that targeting people because of a personal characteristic such as race, faith, gender, gender identity, disability or sexuality is not acceptable and anyone who thinks they have suffered should report it.

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: "This week will allow us the opportunity to raise awareness of hate crime across the force and the impact it has on individuals and communities.

"It's important for people to know that we're here to help and nobody needs to feel like they have to suffer in silence. We urge anyone who has been subjected to behaviour that makes you feel upset, nervous or vulnerable or feel you were targeted because of age, faith, race, disability or sexual orientation to report it to police straight away.

"Anyone can report a hate crime, whether you are a victim, a family member, a carer or think you've witnessed a crime."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: "Northumbria Police will always tackle hate crime head on, we want anyone who has suffered from this crime to report it; by reporting it, police officers can offer the help and support needed.

Anyone who thinks they have suffered a hate crime or wants some help or information can contact police on 101 ext 69191.

Alternatively they can ask to speak to a Northumbria Police Community Engagement Officer in your area, visit a safe reporting centre or contact third party agency ARCH on 08000 32 32 88.