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In their commitment to support some of the districts most vulnerable residents, Rochford District Council encourages staff to volunteer to become Hate Crime Ambassadors to support their role as a hate incident reporting centre (HIRC).
In a training session led by Essex Police’s James Swatton, volunteers from all areas of the council pledged their support to provide support to anyone who visits the council offices who feels that they of may be a victim of a hate crime offence.
Mr Swatton added : “Hate Crime Ambassadors are an important link between victims of crime and the Police. They are a friendly face in the community that is able to help and support vulnerable victims of crime.”
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 towards someone based on a personal characteristic.’
There are five centrally monitored strands of Hate Crime: Race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Cllr Mike Webb said: “Hate crime has no place in our district, it sickens me to think that anyone should be victimised or attacked because of who they are.
“We want to reach out to all our residents, community groups and businesses to ensure our message is loud and clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated, and we all need to safeguard anyone who is vulnerable. If you or anyone you know has experienced hate crime.
“I’m proud of these members of the council staff for volunteering to take on the responsibility of being a hate crime ambassador in addition to their everyday job, to help those vulnerable to hate crime in the community.”