PCC releases hate crime figures for Sussex in a bid to open people’s eyes
PCC Katy Bourne has taken to social media during National Hate Crime AwarenessWeek, publicly sharing the latest figures for all types of hate crime to show how many people have been affected in the last year.
From October 2018 to September 2019 there have been; 2,761 racist crimes, 479 homophobic crimes, 325 disability hate crimes, 271 religion hate crimes and 89 gender hate crimes.
More and more victims are having the confidence to come forward and report which allows Sussex Police to paint a more truthful picture of the problem. During this week they are also taking to social media to share messages of what a hate crime looks like and how to report.
Mrs Bourne said: “Hate crime is a problem, both locally and nationally and I, along with my colleagues, have a commitment to stamping it out.
“By sharing statistics locally, I hope to highlight the severity of the issue and remind people, that behind these national campaigns and rising statistics, there are people living within our communities who are being targeted and victimised. It happens a lot closer to home than people think.”
Commissioner Bourne has funded a number of dedicated hate crime advocacy services to support communities across the region, investing £70,000 to help those who have already been affected. She also organised discussion panels with representatives from LGBTQ+, BAME and religious communities, who have been targeted, to highlight areas of best practice and provide input on where improvements could be made.
She said: “Nobody should have to suffer in silence. Here in Sussex and across the country, hate crime of any kind is being confronted and rightly challenged. The police are now better prepared to deal with this crime type and fully recognise that all communities deserve to feel safe. If you have been a victim or witnessed a hate crime, please do report. You will be taken seriously.”
Sussex Police lead for Hate Crime, Superintendent Ed De La Rue said: “Hate crime is pernicious. It is typically more harmful to victims than crimes that aren’t motivated by hate, causing higher levels of depression, fear and loss of confidence and it damages communities too.
I urge people who have suffered or witnessed a hate crime to report it to us. We are committed to treating victims with respect and empathy, and knowing where and when hate crimes occur allows us to try and prevent them in future.”
Hate crime can be reported to us by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. For those who wish to report online, you can do so here.
People who are hard of hearing or speech-impaired can text 65999 or TypeTalk on 18000. You can also report via True Vision, a national website operated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
If you have been a victim of hate crime you can also find support online at Safe Space Sussex, a directory of local specialist services to help people find all the information they need here.