Sussex Police is supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week this month, and encouraging people to report hate crime.
The national awareness week, which runs from October 13 to 20, aims to raise awareness of what hate crime is, giving support to victims, their families and communities and dealing with perpetrators appropriately.
During this week we will be using social media to raise awareness of hate crime to help give knowledge and confidence to victims to report to the police, using the hashtags #NHCAW and #NoPlaceForHate to spread the word.
We will be sharing real life experiences of victims of hate crime to help increase public confidence in the police and to indicate that we will always deal with reports of hate with empathy and professionalism.
In July 2018, a 36-year-old father was in Hove with his young child.
A man standing outside a pub shouted a stream of racial abuse at the man and his child, including phrases like “You weren’t born in England like I am.”
The father felt embarrassed and wanted to protect his child from such abuse, and reported this incident to a passing police patrol.
A 41-year-old man from Hove was arrested for racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress, and at this point the man subjected the officers to homophobic abuse. He also assaulted both officers.
The man was charged with racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress and two counts of assault against the officers.
The man pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared in court in August, and was sentenced to a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 40 hours unpaid work, as well as £50 compensation to the father, for the racially aggravated offence.
He was also convicted of the two assaults and ordered to pay £50 compensation to each of the officers. £85 costs was also levied and the sentence included an uplift to take account of the race hate crime element.
The father said: “I felt frustrated, I bring my child up to do the right thing and be a good person. I do not expect them to have to witness such awful behaviour against us.
“The police were fantastic, really professional. They kept me updated throughout the case.
“If I was subjected to such behaviour again, or if I witnessed someone else being targeted in the same way, I would make a stand and report it. It is important to report, so the police know what is going on. I would tell other people to report such behaviour too.”
Sussex Police lead for Hate Crime, Superintendent Ed De La Rue said: “It takes courage to report any crime, but especially one that is an attack on your very identity, such as hate crime. We are working hard to ensure our response to crimes reflect the victim’s needs, as well as the modern world and our priorities to you, the public.
“No one should have to live in fear and be targeted just for who they are. We actively encourage reporting of hate crime and incidents so that we can support individual victims, but also because the more we understand what is happening and where, the better we can prevent other offences occurring. We also want to bring perpetrators to justice, sending a clear message that it is not acceptable to threaten, intimidate, offend or abuse anyone for an aspect of their personality. We will take all reports seriously.”
Hate crime can be reported to us by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.
For those who wish to report online, you can do so here. People who are hard of hearing or speech-impaired can text 65999 or TypeTalk on 18000. You can also report via True Vision, a national website owned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. There are also a range of support agencies to whom you can report – for more details, please see our website.
If you have been a victim of hate crime you can find support online at Safe:Space Sussex, a directory of local specialist services to help people find all the information they need here.
We have also been working with Brighton and Hove buses to support their own hate crime campaign in the city. This is a good example of secondary reporting methods where the victim has the option of whom to talk to.
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