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Police in Cornwall launch new hate crime crackdown

hate crime

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:00am 20th October 2018. (Updated at 12:47pm 3rd April 2019)

Devon and Cornwall police has launched a 'zero tolerance' campaign in a bid to crack down on hate crime.

Figures released for National Hate Crime Awareness Week show the number of hate crimes reported to our force in the 12 months to August was up 33%

Hate crime is defined as any crime thought to be motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person's identity.

It can involve criminal damage, verbal harassment or anything else - but instead of randomly-targeted crime, it is based on someone's disability, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Hate Crime is an insidious type of crime, which - if left unchallenged - can almost allow or give permission for further hate crime to take place.

"The fundamental difference with hate crime compared to other crimes is the impact it has on both the individual and the wider group that they represent.

"It is for this reason that impact of the crime is magnified.

"Devon and Cornwall Police is working hard with partners and the community to try and increase the reporting of both hate crime and hate incidents".

Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont

Detective Superintendent Lamont mentioned how there's a 'continuum' of offences, from name-calling through to serious crimes. 

Everyone has different ideas on what should be reported and what should not.

Officers are trying to tackle this issue from the lower end to create a more tolerant community across Devon and Cornwall - and then, as a result, hopefully prevent escalation and criminality.

"We know from the crime survey across England and Wales that all crime is under reported but especially so when it comes to hate crime.

"The data also shows us that such victims are more likely to be repeat victims of crime than other victims.

"It is for this reason that we need to work really hard to increase the confidence in our communities to report such crimes, as without such reports we can't start to tackle the attitude and behaviour of the offenders and give support to those affected".

Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont

When viewed against national figures on crimes per 1000 of the population, the Devon & Cornwall region is placed 7th lowest out of 43 forces across England and Wales.

"We know, however, that our work is far from done and that there are countless victims living in our community that are blighted by the behaviour and actions of others and it is only together that we can try and create the confidence in these people to reach out for support.

"We recognise that for many victims of hate crime, the criminal justice system is not the best mechanism to deal with their experience but for those who do enter the system, recently released data from the Crown Prosecution Service shows that over 9 out of 10 cases result in a conviction.

"Finally, we recognise that Hate Crime Awareness Week is only one week out of 52 and we need the engagement and support of our communities to combat hate crime throughout the year".

Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont

How can I support the campaign?

Local businesses in Cornwall are being encouraged to sign up to the campaign 'Zero Tolerance To Hate' and demonstrate that their school, library, taxi, fast food establishment or other establishment is an area or location where prejudice and hatred has no place.

Another way to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week is to take a photo to share on social media and use the hashtags #NHCAW, #ZeroTolerance2Hate, #WeStandTogether and #SafePlaceForAll - then tag in @stophateuk on Twitter,  @stop_hate_uk on Instagram or stop.hate.uk on Facebook.

To report a hate crime to Devon & Cornwall Police, call 999 in an emergency, or - if not an emergency - e-mail 101@dc.police.uk or head online to www.dc.police.uk/reportcrime or call 101.

For those deaf/hard of hearing or speech impaired, the emergency SMS/text number is 999* and non-emergency SMS text number is 67101*.

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