Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa is urging victims of hate crime and racial abuse to speak out and report incidents to the police or support organisations.
An ardent campaigner against hate crime in all its forms, the Commissioner today (Wednesday, 6 July) said the first step towards stopping it was to seek help. “We need everyone to know that this despicable crime is totally unacceptable and should not be allowed to go on,” he said.
“I want those who suffer such abuse to be in no doubt that help is available, and that they will be listened to and supported. Nobody should have to suffer this horrible crime in silence.”
His comments come after a wave of rallies across the East Midlands in impressive demonstrations of unity against hate crime. One of these was in Derby last Saturday (2 July) where Commissioner Dhindsa, one of the speakers, stressed the importance of speaking out against hate crime.
A long-time campaigner for the need to report it, he is particularly keen to get his message across in the wake of a surge in incidents aimed particularly at immigrants in some parts of the country following the EU Referendum.
“I understand from Derbyshire Police that the number of incidents in our county is about the same as pre-Referendum, but even one incident is one too many,” he said. “Hate crime can cause deep distress, and we need the perpetrators to know that it cannot and will not be tolerated in any shape or form.”
The Commissioner pointed out that help is available for anyone who is verbally or physically intimidated, harassed, victimised or abused because of who they are or what they believe in.
“You don’t have to be the victim to report it,” he added. “The vast majority of ordinary citizens find incidents like these intolerable, so much so that more and more people are choosing to stand up and be counted against those who commit such crimes.”
Anyone wanting to report hate crime to Derbyshire Police can dial 999 in an emergency or 101 if not immediately urgent. The police can also be contacted anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
People who do not want or feel unable to report hate crimes directly to the police can report them and receive initial support and advice from a number of organisations, including the independent charity Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625. Confidential support and information is also available from Victim Support or its Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 as well as Derbyshire Victim Services who can be contacted on 0800 612 6505.
Commissioner Dhindsa also points to his Office’s CORE website which is designed to be the central point of access for information, advice and the ability to self-refer to services for victims and families in Derbyshire. Victims are also able to complete a survey, providing feedback to the Commissioner on their experiences of those services.
The six strands of hate crime now recorded by the police are: Race, Religion, Gender, Disability, Sexual Orientation and Islamophobia. A locally agreed addition by Derbyshire and a number of other forces is Alternative Subcultures which, for example, includes Goths.
To access the CORE website, go to: http://www.core-derbyshire.com/
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 6th July 2016