Northamptonshire Police is teaming up with partner agencies this week to champion diversity and tolerance to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 10-17).
The aim of this year’s campaign is to ‘spread love not hate’, which is a message being shared throughout the county to raise awareness of hate crime, explain what it is and how it is being tackled, and encourage people to report it.
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.
It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.
Hate crime comes in many different forms and strikes at the heart of communities.
Along with fellow members of the Safer Northants Partnership, the Force is making it clear there is no place for hate in Northamptonshire, and anyone affected by hate crime is urged to report it.
As well as hosting a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, October 14 to answer the public’s hate crime related queries, the Force will also be sharing three short videos sharing personal experiences of hate crime to highlight the impact it has on victims.
The first video features Ayan - an African Muslim lady. She was targeted because of her appearance by a member of the public, who verbally assaulted and spat at her.
The second video features Sami, who was targeted for being transgender. In the video Sami describes a verbally abusive incident where they were targeted by a group of individuals who recorded the incident on their mobile phones.
The final video features Richard, who was born with Down’s syndrome. He shares his experience alongside his mother, Rachel, of moving into a new home and being targeted for his disability.
Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless said: “As a Force, we are proud to support the messages behind Hate Crime Awareness Week, and to reassure our communities that we will continue to take positive action in tackling hate crime by providing support to victims and prosecuting those responsible.
“The powerful videos shared this week telling the personal experiences of Ayan, Sami and Richard demonstrate the impact hate crime can have on an individual, and reinforce our simple message: There is no place in our county for hate crime.
“I want to reassure our communities that incidents of hate crime should not, and will not, be tolerated, and I encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward and report it.”
Hate crime and hate incidents can be reported to:
Police - 101 or 999 in an emergency
True Vision - report-it.org.uk
Any local council
Support is available for victims of hate crime via;
Voice – 0300 303 1965
Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council – 01604 400808
Northampton Interfaith Forum - 07757 020346
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire - 01604 637522
Disability Resource Centre Bedfordshire - 01582 470 900
Find more information on hate crime and hate incidents here.