Dorset Police Tackle Hate Crime
8:17am 11th October 2014
Dorset Police is supporting Hate Crime Awareness Week as part of its commitment to tackling these crimes.
Hate crime is defined as 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 protected characteristic or perceived characteristic of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender.
The Force Strategic People, Confidence and Equality Manager, Karen Brown, said: "The priority for us is to ensure that victims of hate incidents or crimes are supported and that appropriate actions are taken. We do this through a partnership approach.
"Hate crimes can ruin lives. Nobody should have to live with the fear and anxiety that hate crimes and incidents cause. Not only is there a significant impact on victims, but it can also affect family, friends and others in the community."
Disability hate crime is thought to be widely under-reported and Dorset Police are encouraging victims to come forward in confidence either directly to the police or to supporting agencies.
One mother whose children were victims of disability hate motivated crimes and incidents is working with Dorset police to help raise awareness and understanding of the impact of these crimes and incidents.
She said: "The difference that the police taking action has made to us means this is a really happy beginning to the rest of their lives.
"William has gone from not going outside the house when kids are around, to helping out in the garden. Jane is starting to explore the world and talk to people she doesn't know and generally have the independence a teenager should have."
Karen Brown continued: "Tackling hate crime is a key priority and training and awareness events have taken place across the Force. We are committed to getting it right and this is key to building and maintaining trust and confidence of victims and encouraging more people to report."
Earlier this year Dorset Police joined forces with Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council to launch a pioneering app for iPhone and android smart phones to help victims of hate crimes.
The app aims to help the most vulnerable members of society understand how to deal with the traumatic effect of such crimes and report incidents in the privacy of their own environment. It can be downloaded via Google or ITunes.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill said: "We can never be complacent when it comes to hate crime. I am really pleased that the hate crime app has taken off and I am really pleased that hate crime reporting has gone up but we must never be complacent.
"We need to encourage more victims to come forward and we need to do more to stop this awful crime happening."
Dorset Police can be contacted on 101 or in an emergency always dial 999.