People are still not reporting hate crime in Wiltshire, despite being encouraged to have the confidence to come forward.
In a recent online survey conducted by Wiltshire Police, more than three quarters of respondents said that they did not report a suspected hate crime. The main reasons given were people saying they were used to it happening to them (20 per cent) and a feeling that nothing would be done about it (30 per cent).
The Force is supporting a nationwide Home Office hate crime campaign – It’s not just offensive. It’s an offence, which seeks to raise awareness of what constitutes a hate crime and how to report it.
Hate crime is when a criminal offence has been committed and either the victim or any other person considers it to have happened because of their race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
Superintendent David Minty is the Wiltshire Police lead on hate crime: “Hate crime attacks people simply for who they are. This is unacceptable. We take all reports seriously and will respond robustly to anyone committing these crimes.”
“We want the public to understand what hate crime is and have the confidence to report it, so that we can truly understand the issues impacting on our communities.”
The Force has given additional hate crime training to its 101 and 999 call handlers and trains all new PCSOs as hate crime advisors to help support victims of such crimes.
Hateful content on social media platforms is a cause for concern, particularly as it can encourage a vocal minority to post hateful content, which may not have been said to the person face to face.
Angus Macpherson is the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner: “Although a very safe county, Wiltshire is sadly not immune from hate crime.”
“There is no excuse for hate crime; however the current uncertainty in this country and in the world, along with the anonymity social media offers, appears to be feeding this awful crime.”
“We live in a diverse society and all need to be able to live together. We are all human irrespective of race, sexuality or religion and should work to understand each other.”
“No-one should be disadvantaged or singled out in society through hate just because they appear to be different.”
Anyone who comes across hateful content on social media platforms can use the reporting channels provided by social media companies to raise concerns.
Reports of any hate incident or hate crime can be made to the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Other reporting channels are available at https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/HateCrime
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