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Force Supports National Hate Crime Awareness Week of Action

16 Oct 2017

This week (14 – 21 October) heralds a National Hate Crime Awareness Week of Action (NHCAW) which Bedfordshire Police is fully supporting and getting involved in, with lots of activities planned across the county.

Sergeant James Hart, Force Hate Crime Tactical Lead, said: “Hate crime can happen to anyone, any time, simply because others take a disliking to their identity. It has a devastating impact on victims and can leave them isolated, vulnerable and even suicidal, for being threatened, attacked or abused, often repeatedly.

“Although the force has seen a rise in people reporting hate crime, we know it remains under reported. During NHCAW community officers will be engaging with members of the public across the county educating them about hate crimes and getting them to sign our pledge boards to put a stop to hate crime.”

Officers will also be working with Bedford Blues Rugby Club and Luton Town Football Club, as well as heading into various schools and working with those at Brookdale Care in Wyboston, who look after individuals that have autism, mental health needs and learning disabilities. We’re holding a community engagement event at the home and inviting nearby residents.

Today (Monday 16 October) there is a HCAW launch event at Barnfield College run by Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) which the force will be supporting. The Counter Terrorism Prevent Team will highlight the good work it’s been undertaking with the recent launch of The Cross the Line app. This aims to deter youngsters from radicalisation, hate crime and right-wing extremism, as well as the Let’s Talk About initiative, designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

On Tuesday there will be a launch event of the Anne Frank Trust UK in Vandyke School in Leighton Buzzard, which Bedfordshire Police has teamed up with to run an anti-hate crime project in schools across the county. Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke is a special guest speaker and will be talking about her remarkable story.

On Thursday there will be a conference at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick for partners, entitled Hate Causes Harm. This will examine hate crime and the benefits and barriers of using Restorative Justice (RJ) in cases. RJ is an opportunity for victims to communicate with the offender, seek explanations and explain the impact the crime had on them. It can also allow the offender to explain how they intend to make amends for the harm caused.

An insightful victim’s video will also be launched during the week, where victims from Bedfordshire, representing the five different stands of hate crime, including disability, race, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation, tell their stories. They bravely explain how hate crime has affected them and encourage other victims not to suffer in silence and report any crimes.

If you or anyone you know has been affected by hate crime contact Bedfordshire Police on 101 or contact True Vision online  or via the Third Party Reporting centres which can be found on the Bedfordshire Police website. Don't ever suffer in silence.

You can also keep up with NHCAW and what Beds Police is doing to tackle hate crime by following @bedshatecrime on Twitter.

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