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The independent charity Crimestoppers has launched a campaign in Essex, urging the public to anonymously report hate crime across the county.
In Essex, there was an 11 per cent increase in reported hate crime (from April 2018 – May 2019 to April 2019 – May 2020).
Since January to June this year, over 1,250 hate crimes were reported (an average of 209 a month).
The majority of hate crimes reported in the county are race related. However, there was a 41 per cent increase in sexual orientation hate crime, a 32 per cent increase in disability hate crime and a 7 per cent increase in religious hate crime.
Hate crime is believed to be hugely under-reported, which is why Crimestoppers is asking the public to pass on what they know anonymously.
Many people accept some hate crime as ‘part of life’ and do not realise that the abuse they are suffering is a crime. They may also mistakenly believe that nothing will be done about it.
During the four-week campaign which will be focused online, Crimestoppers is urging the public to speak up about the perpetrators of hate crime in a bid to help stamp it out.
Hate crime can be motivated by race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or gender identity. Victims may be subjected to physical assaults or suffer damage to their property. They may also experience the threat of an attack or verbal abuse.
Inciting hatred towards a person or group of people, including online is also a form of hate crime.
Phil Breckon, Eastern Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “One hate crime is one too many and it is totally unacceptable to attack or threaten anyone because of their perceived race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or because they’re transgender.
“We want to stop this and we urge anyone who has information about the perpetrators of hate crime or incidents, to tell us what you know anonymously.
“We understand it’s not easy to report someone, especially if they’re a close friend or family member. Please remember that Crimestoppers, as an independent charity, keeps its promise of anonymity each and every day to those who trust us with their crime information.
“Share what you know by calling our UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111 or use our website’s simple and secure anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
“We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year. No one will ever know your identity. We cannot trace your call or track your IP address and we never ask for or record any personal information. We will pass on what you tell us.”
If you are a victim of hate crime, due to the Crimestoppers anonymity guarantee, in an emergency always call 999. The national charity Victim Support can also help. They can be reached on 0808 1689 111. More information can be found on their website.
If you have any information about hate crime, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the secure, anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org