Media Release | For immediate release
07 October 2016
Zero tolerance to hate crime launches in Devon
A new campaign sends out a clear message that all forms of hate crime are unacceptable
The definition of hate crime as determined by the Association of the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service states that ‘hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race; religion/belief; sexual orientation; disability or because they are transgender.’
Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell who is the commander for policing across Devon said: “Hate crime of any kind has absolutely no place in society. Hate crime has a harmful and lasting effect on its victims as it seeks to attack an intrinsic part of who a person is. Everyone has a right to feel safe and it is our commitment to identify, protect and safeguard all vulnerable people within our communities and bring offenders to justice.”
Whilst some police forces across the UK are seeing an increase in reports of hate crimes, there are still a large proportion of incidents that go unreported. In the days following the EU referendum, some European nationals were the target of abuse and representatives of other ethnic minority communities reported anxiety about a climate of increased hostility towards people identified as foreigners.
“It is utterly unacceptable that people should suffer abuse or attacks because of their nationality or ethnic background” added Ch.Supt Colwell. “We must stand together against hate crime and ensure that it is stamped out.”
David Wright, a representative from Safer Devon Partnerships which is funding the campaign said: “We are determined that the ‘zero approach to hate crime’ message is not confined to just one week, but one that is sounded out all year round… with this in mind, we will be allocating funding to continue the campaign after hate crime awareness week is over. Our country thrives precisely because of the rich co-existence of people of different backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities; and that rich co-existence is something we must treasure and strive to protect.”
As part of the national hate crime awareness week, police in Devon will be carrying out a programme of activities including drop-in sessions and workshops.
Sergeant Sally Kingdon said: “Hate crime awareness week is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about the harmful effects that hate crime has on a victim. We would like people to feel confident about reporting hate crime to us and be confident that we will provide the help and support they need.”
We urge everyone to pledge their support to the ‘zero tolerance to hate crime’ campaign by using the hashtag #ZeroTolerance2Hate and putting the pledge logo onto their social media profiles.
“It is a matter of priority that we raise awareness and enhance society’s understanding of hate crime” added Ch.Supt Colwell.
Cllr Paul Bull, Lead Councillor for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “I am proud that Exeter is a diverse and tolerant city and the City Council does its utmost to ensure that the city is a welcoming and safe place for all.
“A recent motion taken at Full Council outlined our commitment to work with local partners to combat all forms of hate crime. This new campaign to bring zero tolerance to hate crime is to be welcomed and I look forward to spreading this strong message, not only during Hate Crime Awareness Week, but throughout the rest of the year and for many years to come.”