A campaign aimed at highlighting the issue of hate crimes has been launched today (Saturday) West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner
The campaign launch coincides with national Hate Crime Awareness Week and aims to give people a better understanding of what hate crime is and what they can do about it.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “Being who you are is not a crime, but being targeted because of race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity can be.
“Hate crime takes many forms including harassment, threats, offensive graffiti, physical abuse, vandalism and inciting hatred online. “It can have both a devastating effect on a single victim and also has the potential to divide communities.
West Yorkshire Police is also hosting a live web chat on Hate Crime, on Monday 12 October 12 at 7pm, log on to the website to get involved and speak directly to T/ACC Williams and PCC Mark Burns-Williamson. www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatehurtswebchat
Mark Burns Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “Raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it is a key priority in the Police and Crime Plan.
“We all have a responsibility to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that foster hatred because early intervention and education can make a real difference to communities ensuring they are safer and feel safer.
“Hate crimes are categorised under disability, faith, race, sexual orientation and transphobic. A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes were introduced last year to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims. The subcategories for faith are anti-Christian, anti-Hindu, anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and anti-Sikh and the subcategories for disability are learning, physical, sensory and mental.
Anyone with information about a hate incident is asked to report it either by calling 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency, online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime or www.report-it.org.uk or in person at a police station.
Alternatively, there are independent Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) across West Yorkshire for anyone who does not want to speak directly to the police.