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Police support national hate crime awareness week

Local communities across West Mercia Police are being invited to find out more about hate crime as part of national hate crime awareness week.

Between Saturday 13 October and Sunday 20 October a series of events will be held across the force to raise awareness of hate crime and what police and partners are doing to take action.

To kick-start the week Telford Youth Engagement Team is hosting a Citizens Youth Academy in Wellington for pupils aged between 11 and 16 where important issues, such as hate crime, will be discussed across the weekend.

In north Worcestershire the Hate Incident Partnership will host a special event for people to come together and share their experiences of hate crime. 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.

And across south Worcestershire a series of pop-up events will be held at various locations throughout the county.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell, leads on Hate Crime for West Mercia Police.

He said: "We're proud of the diverse communities we have living side by side harmoniously right across the West Mercia Police area are always inspired by the great work on-going by 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 we work tirelessly to tackle hate crime 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 come forward and report the incident to police and over the past few years we have carried out a lot of work to try and address this. I hope as a result of this work victims do feel they can come and speak to us and have the confidence we will take their concerns seriously and do all we can to support them. No-one should have to suffer because of who they are, it's important to remember being you is not a crime but targeting you is."

A hate crime is classed as such if someone is targeted because of protected characteristics under the Equality Act. There are nine groups: - age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.

Follow your local safer neighbourhood team on twitter for details of events happening in your area. #NHCAW #WeStandTogether #NoPlaceforHate #SafePlaceforAll

Across West Mercia Police there are dedicated Equality and Diversity Officers led by Strategic Equality and Diversity Officer Kal Parkash. Kal's role is, supported by the Equality and Diversity Officers, to ensure excellent relations between minority groups, advise on diversity issues and equality and promote inclusion.

She said: "We're really pleased to once again be supporting national hate crime awareness week. It's really important we let people know the options that are available to them if they are a victim of hate crime, but not only that, let them know we are here to support them and genuinely want to hear their experiences so that we can take steps to improve cohesion within our communities even more.

"The national week gives us a great opportunity to highlight the work we do all year round to support those who may be more vulnerable to being targeted. By treating people with respect and dignity we can ensure the most vulnerable within our communities are able to come forward and that victims of crime receive the right support."

issued: 9.30am 121018 EH



Published 12/10/18