15th Dec, 2018

West Mercia Police back national hate crime campaign

Harry Leach 20th Oct, 2018

WEST Mercia Police are backing the national hate crime campaign which runs until this Saturday, October 20.

The news comes as the latest Home Office statistics show hate crime soared by 29 per cent in 2016-17 to 80,393 offences.

The figures show there was a surge in hate crime around the EU referendum and following the Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks this year.

The biggest increase though was in disability and transgender hate crime which the Home Office said was largely due to more people coming forward and better recording of crime.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell, who leads on Hate Crime for West Mercia Police, said: “We’re proud of the diverse communities we have living side by side harmoniously right across the West Mercia Police area and we are always inspired by the great work of our partners to tackle hate crime in all of its form.

“People who attempt to disrupt our communities with hatred, racism and prejudice are thankfully in the minority.

“However, that does not mean we are complacent and I can assure you anyone who commits a crime motivated by hatred will be dealt with robustly.

“It can often be difficult for victims of hate crime to report the incident to police and over the past few years we have carried out a lot of work to address this.

“I hope as a result victims do feel they can come and have the confidence we will take their concerns seriously and do all we can to support them.

“It’s important to remember being you is not a crime but targeting you is.”

West Mercia’s action on hate crime includes working with the Hate Incident Partnership who will host a special event today (Friday) for people to come together and share their experiences of hate crime at Parkside Suite in Bromsgrove.

Speakers at the event include businesswoman and 2017 The Apprentice candidate Bushra Shaikh, Paralympic Gold Medallist Claire Cashmore MBE and radio broadcaster host Ray Khan.

A Home Office spokesperson welcomed West Mercia Police’s backing of the important work to root out these acceptable crimes.

“This Government is clear that all hate crime, including that targeted towards a particular faith, is absolutely unacceptable.

“Religious freedom is a key part of our way of life and we stand in solidarity with those who experience this abhorrent crime.”

The refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan, he said, set out the Home Office’s work to tackle underlying prejudice – supporting victims and ensuring perpetrators felt the full force of the law.

And he added £3.4million had been committed to protect places of worship and community led projects were being supported through the Hate Crime Community Project Fund.

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