Conference to Tackle Hate Crime Held at Police HQ
A conference to encourage a better understanding of hate crime and how to tackle it was held at West Mercia Police's Headquarters last week (Tuesday, 26 June).
The conference, organised by West Mercia Police Authority, gave local partners - including local authorities, health and housing professionals - as well as police officers and staff the opportunity to discuss how to provide a more coordinated, united, consistent response to hate crime.
Hate crimes are any crimes where people are targeted because of their race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.
The conference was opened by Kate Pready-James, Chair of West Mercia Police Authority's Equality & Human Rights Panel and Chief Constable David Shaw. The keynote speaker at the event was Deputy Chief Constable Simon Edens of Leicestershire Constabulary, the ACPO national lead on anti-social behaviour who spoke about the impact of hate crime upon individuals and communities.
The Geese Theatre Company gave an interactive drama presentation called ‘Because You're Different' which was provocative, powerful and gave professionals in the room an insight into what it feels like to be a victim of hate crime. One of the conference delegates remarked that the performance "stripped away all the bureaucracy and brought it back to a very human level."
The conference, titled ‘Working Together to Tackle Hate Crime' then went onto to explore new ways of protecting communities from hate crime. It examined how victims' needs could be better understood and how confidence could be enhanced within communities that suffer hate crime. Delegates also discussed how victims could be encouraged to report crimes which are heavily under-recorded.
Chief Constable David Shaw said: "Hate crime is one of the priorities in our current policing plan so this has been a significant event for us in terms of establishing how we can tackle this issue.
"From the outset, the intention had always been to use the conference as the starting point for partner organisations to map out a new approach and focus around hate crime. At its conclusion, the conference was asked to commit to working together towards this aim and a multi agency working group has now been established to take this important work forward."
If you believe you have been a victim of hate crime you can report it to us by phoning 101 or online by visiting http://www.report-it.org.uk/.
Alternatively, you can also visit your local police station. We have specialist officers in each area who will sensitively investigate any incident you report. In an emergency you should always ring 999.
To find out more about how West Mercia Police tackles hate crime visit the Personal Safety section on the Advice Centre page of our website: http://www.westmercia.police.uk/