Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2014

Sussex Police supports Hate Crime Awareness Week and encourages victims to get in contact

No-one should be abused, assaulted or have their property damaged, especially if the reason for being subjected to that behaviour is out of their control.

That’s the message that Sussex Police and partners are sending for Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs between 11 – 18 October. This supports ongoing work towards increasing the confidence of victims to report hate crime and the methods for doing this; challenging the prejudice and hostility that fuels hate crime; supporting victims, their families and communities; and dealing with perpetrators appropriately. These pieces of work support us achieving the ultimate aim, which is to reduce hate crime and the harmful effect it has on individuals and communities.

The public can get involved with a number of activities that will be going on during the week, including asking questions via two web chats and tuning into updates on social media. Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant, Peter Allan said, “I understand that some of the language we use around hate crime is confusing. People don’t know whether to report the behaviour they have been subjected to or not.

“People ask themselves: Is it serious enough? Will the police be interested? Will I be treated sympathetically? Will I be subject to retribution? Will I have to go to court? Will I be happy with any criminal justice outcome?

“My simple response to people is this: if you have been subjected to behaviour that makes you feel sad, hurt, upset, nervous or vulnerable and that you were targeted because of your disability, sexual orientation, faith or religion, race or gender identity rather than the person across the street, then you should report it to the police. We will record the incident, treat you and your concerns sympathetically and professionally and record it as a hate crime.”

“Hate Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of hate crime and the damage it causes to individuals and communities. I will be tweeting the details of all hate crimes that are reported to us, hosting two online web chats, launching an initiative to tackle homophobia in football and sharing the experiences of some victims of hate crime and those who support them. All of this will aim to de-mystify some of the language and misunderstandings around hate crime. “We will also be launching our Hate Crime Ambassadors initiative by appealing for key members of our communities who will act as points of contact across Sussex for those concerned about hate crime.”

Hate crime can be reported to us by:
• Phone: 01273 470101, or 999 in an emergency. For those who wish to report
• Online: by completing this short form http://bit.ly/1fTDYJh
• You can also report via Victim Support, True Vision – which is a national website owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers – or many other support groups across Sussex.

How to get involved

The timings and panellists for the two webchats are given below. You can submit a question in advance or tune in live to watch or ask questions on the below links.

Webchat 1: Thursday 16th October, 12.30-1.30pm
Panelists: Sgt. Peter Allan, Tony Kalume from Diversity Lewes, Lucy Spencer from the Safer East Sussex team and Charlie Willis from Independent Lives
Weblink: http://www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/hate-crime-awareness-week

Webchat 2: Friday 17th October, 7.30 – 9pm
Panellists: Sgt. Peter Allan, Hate Crime Sgt, Rory Smith, LGBT officer at Brighton police station and Liam Hackett from Ditch the Label
Weblink: http://www.sussex.police.uk/whats-happening/hate-crime-awareness-week-2

If you have a question for a specific panellist, please specify their name when you ask your question.  Follow Sgt. Peter Allan on Twitter @sgtpeterallan for updates throughout the week.  If you’re interested in becoming a Hate Crime Ambassador contact Sgt Peter Allan via email at: peter.allan@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s
• race or perceived race (Race also includes actual or perceived colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins)
• religion or perceived religion
• gender identity or perceived gender identity
• sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation
• disability or perceived disability.
A hate incident is any non-crime incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s
• race or perceived race (Race also includes actual or perceived colour, ethnic origin, nationality or national origins)
• religion or perceived religion
• gender identity or perceived gender identity
• sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation
• disability or perceived disability.
Hate incidents and crimes can take many forms including:
• Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson.
• Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene phone calls, unfounded, malicious complaints, groups hanging around to intimidate, dirty looks and intimidating stares.
• Verbal abuse or insults and abusive gestures other abuse – such as offensive leaflets and posters, the dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, theft or fraud, bullying at home, online, at school or in the workplace.