Sussex Police has launched a scheme to help communities deal with the issues surrounding hate crime.
The force states that being persistently targeted because of a personal characteristic, whether it is race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity, or something else, is harmful to individuals and can be corrosive to communities. It now wants individuals who can support those who may become victims of hate crime to come forward.
To unpick some of the myths around hate crime, Sussex Police is launching an initiative that will see Hate Crime Ambassadors in the communities of Sussex.
They will be given information about what hate crime is, how it can be reported and what happens when it is.
Sussex Police is looking for people who are interested in raising awareness of what hate crime is and encouraging victims to report to police or partner agencies across the county.
You will need to attend a two hour coaching session, and you will have the opportunity to refresh and enhance your knowledge and understanding at twice yearly seminars.
Sussex Police Hate Crime sergeant, Peter Allan said: “We know that a lack of understanding about what hate crime is and at what level you can report it to the police are two of the biggest challenges. I hope these coaching sessions will be a springboard for discussions about hate crime, in the pub, at work, at the gym, at the many clubs and activities people take part in on a regular basis and anywhere really. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Hate Crime Ambassador please contact me on 07867 501150 or e-mail email@example.com. I aim to start the coaching sessions as soon as possible and in an area of Sussex which is convenient to you.” Reports of hate crimes in the borough have doubled in the past year with 56 offences reported compared to 37 in the prevoius year. Victims of hate crime now have the powers to trigger case reviews if they feel the authorities are not taking them seriously. From this month anyone who feels a hate crime or anti social behaviour incident has not been handled properly, they can use the ‘community trigger’ to start a review of the case. All agencies involved must then report back within 10 working days.