Wakefield Council is reminding residents that hate crime will not be tolerated in the district and that crimes must be reported as the city supports Hate Crime Week, which starts this weekend.
The council says it continues to have a zero tolerance approach to hate crime and is assuring people that if it is reported it will be dealt with seriously.
Hate crime is a crime or incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
It can include verbal abuse, harassment, threats, intimidation, physical abuse and vandalism. It can have both a devastating effect on a single victim but also the potential to divide communities.
Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, has made a video confirming the council’s commitment to tackle hate crime and also calls on communities for their support in tackling it.
Coun Cummings said: “To abuse or attack someone because of who they are is unforgivable. In our district many hate crimes go unreported. We owe it to the victims to keep challenging the despicable, bigoted attitudes that keep hate crime alive.
“The lead for tackling hate crime has to come from everyone. We are the people who know the victims, who know the offenders and who understand the issues in our communities where hate crime is happening. We have the power to generate change.”
The council is also warning residents that hate crime incidents also take place online and that these incidents must be reported and will be taken as seriously as those that happen offline.
Coun Cummings said: “Too many victims are intimidated by vile threats made online. I urge anyone who experiences or witnesses hate crime to report it immediately.”
The council has an online service, available through the Wakefield Council website, where hate crime incidents can be reported.
It works alongside current ways of reporting which can be done at local police stations, WDH service access points and local Hate Incident Reporting Centres across the district. People can also report it via the Stop Hate UK 24/7 helpline, or by using the new, free Stop Hate UK app, which can capture video of any incident to assist with investigations.
Anybody wanting to report a hate crime incident should do so by calling the police on 101 or 999. Support is also available from Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or by text on 07717 989 025 or via the Stop Hate UK app. Anyone can report a hate crime and it can be reported anonymously.
Victims of hate crime will be offered free and confidential support to make them feel safer and have the strength to move forward after crime. Victim Support can be contacted on 0300 303 1971 or out of hours 0808 16 59 111.
To report online, or for more information, visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/hatecrime