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Nottinghamshire Police increases support for hate crime victims

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Nottinghamshire Police is now offering an improved service to hate crime victims.

More regular welfare checks are now being carried out by the force's hate crime team, who call victims to make sure they are kept updated as well as offering support.

Since the new process was implemented in July hate crime officers have made over 845 welfare check calls to victims who are now called 12 days after their initial report to ensure they are supported and receive timely updates on their cases.

Stop hate crime campaign (52079854)
Stop hate crime campaign (52079854)

Nottinghamshire Police has announced details of the improvements as it makes a rallying call for people to call out hate crime in all its forms as an annual national awareness campaign kicks-off today ( October 9).

The force is working closely together with its partners, including Nottingham City Council, to deliver a range of activities in support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

These include educational talks and events hosted online, available county-wide, explaining what hate crime is, why it’s important to report it, how to report it and what support is available.

Hate crime is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice against protected characteristics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, transgender, misogyny and alternative sub-culture.

Hate crime can take any shape and can disguise itself under many different names, such as homophobia, Islamophobia or racism.

Superintendent Sukesh Verma, Nottinghamshire Police’s strategic hate crime lead, said: “All year round we remain committed to tackling hate incidents in all their forms and I want to reassure people that we treat all reports very seriously as well as supporting victims.

“The impact of hate is often not seen overtly but it can have a huge personal impact as it targets the individual for who they are and what they believe in.

“As a force we have seen a rise in hate crime reporting which reflects increased victim confidence in coming forward and reporting their experiences to us.

“It also shows that our community engagement to provide knowledge and support victims is working.

“However, we believe hate crime is still being under-reported and we want to encourage more victims to come forward and build up their confidence in the knowledge they will be listened to and supported.

“To provide the best quality service to all hate crime victims, the force’s hate crime team now delivers mandatory core hate crime training to all newly recruited officers and call handlers and training sessions are offered out throughout the year to police staff members and officers.

“We have recently implemented a new hate crime welfare checks process to raise victims’ satisfaction and address concerns raised by victims.

“This new process has already seen an increase in satisfaction levels since it was implemented as we continue to strive to bring about positive change in our society.”Between August 2020 and July 2021 a total of 2,444 hate crimes were reported in Nottinghamshire compared to 2,393 reported between August 2019 and July 2020.

Nottinghamshire Police is also continuing to work closely with schools and universities to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage people to report it.

Supt Verma said: “An increasing proportion of hate crime is now committed online and via social media which can have a huge impact on victims and their mental health.

“I want to reassure people that we will investigate reports of this nature and if an offence has been committed we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.”

In support of the national week of action Nottinghamshire Police hate crime officers Marta Bugajska and Lisa Wallis have worked with Nottingham City Council and the Safer Nottinghamshire Board to produce an informative glossary of accessible resources aiming to educate and inspire the public to celebrate not only our commonalities but also our differences.

Marta and Lisa, alongside the council’s community cohesion team, have taken the lead in organising a free online event ‘understanding and reporting hate crime’ which takes place on Monday (October 11) to launch the hate crime awareness week.

It follows requests for Nottinghamshire Police to deliver more hate crime training to members of the public.

There will also be various other free online events and conversations during the week that members of the public are encouraged to join.

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