More than 50 newly-trained hate crime champions ready to support people in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire Police organised online training sessions last month
Hertfordshire has more than 50 newly-trained hate crime champions ready to support people who have been targeted just for being who they are.
Representatives from district and borough councils, housing associations, charities and community groups joined two online training sessions run by Hertfordshire Police last month.
As hate crime champions in their organisation they can now help to raise awareness of hate crime, support individuals who have been a victim and encourage them to report it to police or via a third-party organisation.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Frost, from Community Safety at Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “The hate crime champion scheme is an ideal way of involving organisations in raising awareness of hate crime more widely within our society, supporting people who have experienced or witnessed hate crime and encouraging people to report it.
“We want people to spread the word that hate crime is not tolerated in Hertfordshire. Police and partner agencies take hate crime very seriously. Many hate crimes go unreported, which means that some crimes are not investigated and victims are not accessing support that is available to them.
“The online training was successful with very good feedback. Delegates said it was very informative and helpful and they would use their learning to support more people.”
There were 62 people who attended third party reporting centre refresher training the previous week, representing all kinds of organisations, including Age UK; Beacon Victim Care; Black Voice Letchworth; Communities 1st volunteers; East Herts, North Herts, Stevenage district and borough councils; Hertfordshire Libraries; Oaklands College; Transgender Support Group; University of Hertfordshire; and YC Hertfordshire.
DCI Frost added: “It is widely known that being a victim of hate crime has a disproportionate impact upon a person’s mental wellbeing.
"It can have a severe impact on the victim but also on the wider community. This training was an excellent opportunity to increase the support available our communities and further training will be completed in the near future.”
Hertfordshire Police will always handle reports of hate crimes sensitively and victims can access support through the force’s specially trained hate crime officers or via the Hertfordshire Victim Care Centre Beacon.
Victims do not have to contact police directly to report a crime. They can report at a number of third-party reporting centres in Hertfordshire or online.
More information about hate crime and third-party reporting centres can be found at hertsagainsthate.org.