Police host Hate Crime Awareness Week surgeries across Derbyshire

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Police officers in the Chesterfield, Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales and High Peak areas are set to host special hate crime themed surgeries next week as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Derbyshire Constabulary’s Safer Neighbourhood policing teams in Alfreton, Somercotes and South Normanton, Chesterfield, Staveley and Newbold, Buxton and Ashbourne will all be hosting events for residents.

They will be offering advice and information about hate crime, raising awareness of the law and also support available, with the aim of encouraging victims to speak out and not suffer in silence.

Hate Crime Awareness Week runs between October 14 and 21, giving organisations the opportunity to increase people’s knowledge of what constitutes an offence and how they can report it.

Hate crime is defined as any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or another person as being motivated by prejudice, hate or intolerance on the grounds of disability, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or alternative sub-culture.

Derbyshire police recognises, records and monitors hate crime. Between April 1 2016 and March 31 2017, the force recorded 635 hate crimes. Of these, 466 were racial, 33 were religious, 66 concerned the victim’s sexual orientation, 40 were related to disability and ten were against transgender members of the community.

Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “Crimes based on hatred must never be tolerated and Derbyshire Constabulary, together with partner agencies and communities, will do everything we can to tackle all forms of hate crime, whether it is related to someone’s race, religion, sexuality, disability or how they dress.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “Hate crime has a devastating impact on its victims, restricting freedom, eroding confidence and producing fear and anxiety. These feelings can take a long time to get over – perhaps a lifetime.Hate crime awareness week logo

“As a victim of hate crime myself and Britain’s first and only BME commissioner, I want to make Derbyshire a place where acceptance, tolerance and respect prevail. I want to make sure our services help repair the emotional damage inflicted by hate and encourage future survivors to seek help straight away.

“Hate crime is a hidden problem. The cases we investigate today are just the tip of the iceberg. Together I believe we can help to stamp out the prejudice and bigotry that blights too many lives. I urge people to come forward and report any instance of hate crime so that we can gauge the full extent of the problem and invest appropriate resources.”

Police are aiming to visit the following locations:

Staveley; Monday, October 16, 9am – 12noon, Morrison’s car park, and Wednesday, October 18, 9am – noon, Morrison’s car park, and Friday, October 20, 3pm – 6pm, Morrison’s car park.

Somercotes; Monday, October 16, 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Aldi/B&M Bargains car park.

Newbold; Monday, October 16, 3pm – 6pm, Loundsley Green; Community Centre car park. Friday, October 20, 9am – noon, Loundsley Green Community Centre car park.

South Normanton; Wednesday, October 18, 12.30pm – 2.30pm, Co-op car park.

Buxton; Thursday, October 19, 10am – 3pm, The Springs Shopping Centre.

Chesterfield town centre; Friday, October 20, 10am – 2pm, Unit 25-27, Vicar Lane.

Alfreton; Friday, October 20, 12.30pm – 2.30pm, Home Bargains.

For more information on other activities organised by police officers across Derbyshire visit website www.derbyshire.police.uk or check Derbyshire Constabulary’s social media accounts by searching @DerbysPolice on Twitter or Derbyshire Constabulary on Facebook.