REPORTING hate crime has become easier thanks to a new scheme derived by West Mercia Police and South Worcesterhire Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).
The CAB offices in Evesham and Malvern are now acting as reporting centres for people who would like to report a suspected hate crime.
Hate crimes cover crimes committed out of hatred on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability or individual characteristics that makes someone appear different.
Staff at CAB centres have been trained to take reports and offer support and advice to victims of hate crime. The information from these reports can then be passed on to the police who can then investigate and offer further support.
Richard West, Advice Services Manager at South Worcestershire CAB said: “We are pleased to be able to offer this new service to clients at the Evesham and Malvern offices.
“We pride ourselves on being able to provide a range of support and advice services to local people and this latest addition will further enhance the service we offer.
“Our staff are highly trained and extremely helpful and I would encourage anyone who would like to report a hate crime to talk to one of the team. Even if you don’t want to make an official report we can offer informal support and advice.”
Figures released to the Observer show more than 80 incidents of hate crime in South Worcestershire have been reported to police in the last four months. Out of them incidents, racist abuse has been reported 61 times.
In the financial year 2012/13 a total of 270 incidents were reported and in 2013/14 this was slightly reduced to 227.
Adrian Symonds, West Mercia Police Equality and Diversity Advisor for Worcestershire and Herefordshire, said: “Nobody should have to tolerate victimisation because of who they are and they definitely shouldn’t have to suffer in silence.
“We’re always looking to make it easier for people to come forward to report hate crime. People may feel more comfortable in the surroundings of the CAB and this will give them the confidence to report offences.
“Giving people the confidence to report hate crime will allow us to tackle the people responsible and ultimately lead to a reduction in incidents.”
Residents can report hate crime at the Malvern Citizens Advice Bureau offices by calling its advice line on 08444 111 444 or visiting the office at the Enigma Business Park.
Other ways of reporting hate crime include visiting www.report-it.org.uk, call 999 in an emergency or for non-emergencies call 101, call at a police station or stop a police officer in the street, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or Victim Support on 0845 30 30 900.