South Yorkshire Police is adding its voice to the National Hate Crime Awareness Week this week by reminding everybody that Hate Hurts.
The force recognises the ‘nightmare’ faced by victims of such incidents, and is urging all those who have to suffer in such instances to report them so SYP can ‘tackle the problem wherever we find it and support those who live through it’.
It is also renewing its pledge to stand up against hate in all its forms, and is standing by partner organisations who also continue to stamp out hate crime across the region.
A hate crime is 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 disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, or a perceived disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Anyone can be a victim of a hate crime, the victim doesn’t have to be a member of a minority group or someone who is considered to be a vulnerable person. It can be committed against a person or property.
Chief Inspector Andy Berriman, the force’s lead for hate crime offences, said: “Imagine living in fear of leaving your home. Imagine feeling targeted just because of how you were born. Imagine being verbally abused, harassed or physically attacked just because of who you are.
“It has to stop. I want to encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it. I can promise we will do our very best to bring offenders to justice. And I can promise we will ensure you receive the support you need as a result of what can be a traumatic ordeal for many when a hate crime is reported to us.”
There are many ways victims of hate crime can report these to SYP. You can call 101, or in an emergency call 999. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired you can textphone 18001 101 or SMS 07786 220 022. You can also report Hate online using SYP’s crime reporting portal, which is available at smartcontact.southyorkshire.police.uk/
As well as the police you can report hate to other agencies if you prefer. Please bear in mind this information will be passed on to us to enable us to investigate. There are also many third party reporting centres that operate across the region, and lists of those based in your area can be found at www.southyorkshire.police.uk/find-out/crime-prevention-advice/hate-crime/
Councillor Alison Teal, Executive Member for Sustainable Neighbourhoods, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “At Sheffield City Council we absolutely stand against hate. No-one is born with hate in them, it’s something that’s learned. There is no place for it in Sheffield.
“Far too often people are targeted because of who they are – whether they are from an ethnic minority, part of the LGBTQ+ community, have a disability or because of their faith or beliefs. We want people to feel safe and free to be proud of who they are. It’s our people that make Sheffield the amazing and diverse city that it is.
“In partnership with South Yorkshire Police, we have appointed a Hate Crime Coordinator, dedicated to developing a better understanding of hate crime, how it affects our communities, and how we can support them, among other initiatives.”
Councillor Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities at Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: "Hate crime of any form is absolutely unacceptable. It not only harms victims but their families, loved ones, and the wider community too.
“Alongside South Yorkshire Police we're working to tackle hate crime in Barnsley, championing our borough to be the place of possibilities where no-one faces abuse online or in their community. By working together we’re helping to make Barnsley a borough where there is no place for hate."
Claire Gandy, Director of Student Support Services at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam is a safe and inclusive community. Abuse and harassment will not be tolerated in any form.
“The hurt and impact caused by such behaviour should not be underestimated and we are committed to providing a safe space for our students and staff to talk about their experience and seek support.
“I’d encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed such behaviour to report it - anonymously if they prefer - to help raise awareness and increase the likelihood of those responsible for causing that pain through their words, action, and criminal behaviour to be held accountable.”
Stop Hate UK are one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination in the UK and have just launched a helpline service for South Yorkshire. They are also behind the week-long campaign, and spokeswoman Rose Simkins said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our helpline service in South Yorkshire.
“Sadly, all forms of hate crime are significantly under-reported and, while it’s vital to report incidents of hate, some people and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police or their council.
“We are here to support people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact with our helpline, or other reporting channels, might be the first time an individual has talked to someone about the things they are experiencing. No-one should have to suffer hate crime in silence, and working together with the police, we can help to make a difference in South Yorkshire.”
For more information on National Hate Crime Awareness Week, visit: www.stophateuk.org/hate-crime-awareness-week/
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