The Hate Hurts Campaign is continuing to spread its vital zero tolerance message across both Durham and Darlington.
The aim of the scheme is to educate people about Hate Crime and the right of all to feel safe and comfortable in their community, whether it’s where they live, work, visit, go to school, church, play or watch sport or socialise.
Hate Crime describes criminal behaviours committed against someone because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or some other perceived difference.
It can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, bullying both online and offline, and damage to property.
The campaign was launched in 2019 by the late Ron Hogg, Durham’s area’s first Police and Crime Commissioner. He was committed to reducing hate crime. Now, his successor Joy Allen is carrying on the mantle explaining: “Any crime or behaviour motivated by hostility or prejudice because of personal characteristics such as disability, gender identity, race, ethnicity or nationality, religion, faith or belief or sexual orientation is particularly corrosive and can have devastating consequences for victims, their families and the wider community.
“Despite this, there is considerable evidence these crimes are under-reported. Ensuring specialist support for those who experience these despicable crimes, as well as their families and wider networks, is crucial if victims are to have confidence in criminal justice processes and receive appropriate help to cope with and recover from their experience.
“As with all victims of crime, I am committed to commissioning high-quality services that ensure victims, and their families where appropriate, have access, at the right time and in the right place, to a range of specialist support throughout their journey and whether they report to the police or not.
“Recognising addressing hate crime cannot be achieved by individual organisations on their own, my Police and Crime Plan describes how I will work with partners to ensure delivery of seamless, high-quality support for victims and seek to develop partnership initiatives that build the confidence of victims and hold perpetrators to account.
“I am determined to put the voice of the victim at the centre of everything I do and I have recently appointed a Victims Champion who will be instrumental in making sure that the voices of those with lived experience are captured, incorporated, and embedded into all of my strategy, planning and delivery processes.
“It is only by taking account of these lived experiences and acting on them that we can begin to address this increasingly pervasive and harmful crime.”
On submitting a freedom of information request Asian Standard discovered in the past four years 2,452 hate crimes have been reported across the area
Breakdown of cases of reported hate crime
- 2018 – 592
- 2019 – 590
- 2020 – 626
- 2021 – 644
Asian Standard understands the PCC will work with the Chief Constable and partners to promote hate crime prevention initiatives and encourage and facilitate the reporting in all forms of hate crime. They also admit there is much more work to do so individuals can feel safe in reporting such crimes.
They will also Introduce voluntary recording of misogyny as a hate crime indicator and lobby for misogyny/misandry to become an official hate crime category while supporting educational campaigns to tackle the issue.
The Rt Hon Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham, said: “Hate Crime is a serious offence, causing significant harm and distress to victims and adversely affecting the cohesion of our society.”
Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor, Durham University added: “Durham University is a global university, welcoming staff and students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. We aim to create an open and inclusive environment where all members of our community feel safe and can achieve their full potential. We are pleased to be supporting this campaign.”
Organisers say business has a particular role to play in informing employees about Hate Crime, also ensuring channels of communication are open for any member of staff who is victimised.
If anyone would like to book an appointment and speak to a Cohesion Officer about any hate crime issues, regular sessions are held across the year.
For more information visit www.hatehurts.co.uk
The message is If you witness, or are a victim of Hate Crime
Call 101 or 999 in an emergency or visit www.report-it.org.uk