Hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property which is motivated by an offender's hatred of someone because of their race, colour, ethnic origin or nationality, their religion, their gender or gender identity, their sexual orientation or their disability.
It can take many forms, from physical attacks such as an assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson, to verbal abuse or insults or the threat of attack, including the sending of offensive letters, emails or texts, abusive or obscene telephone calls or malicious complaints.
The Safer Wolverhampton Partnership is organising a range of events next week to help to raise awareness of the city’s zero tolerance to hate crime, and celebrate Wolverhampton's cohesive and diverse communities.
On Monday (14 October) people are being asked to share messages about hate crime on their social media channels – using the hashtag #stophateWV on Twitter – while on Tuesday and Thursday (15 and 17 October) members of the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership will be raising awareness among shoppers at Sainsbury's, St Marks.
Shoppers will be encouraged to write messages about hate crime on a wipeable wall at the Mander Centre on Friday (18 October), while also during the week Third Party Reporting Centres – independent organisations that have been trained to record hate crimes and incidents, offer support and signpost to other help – will be coming together for a Third Party Tea Party. Organisations which are interested in becoming a Third Party Reporting Centre are also invited to attend.
The events conclude on Sunday 20 October with a Race Against Hate at West Park, a 5km run or walk – equivalent to three laps of the park – open to people of all ages, families and teams. For more details visit Race Against Hate.
There are a number of ways that victims of, or witnesses to, an incident can report hate crime:
- call police on 101 – or dial 999 or 112 if it is an emergency
- contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their website
- report in person to the police at any police station or one of the Police Hate Crime drop-ins - see Stop Hate WLV for full details
- report at any Third Party Reporting Centre – independent organisations that have been trained to record hate crimes and incidents, offer support and signpost to other help. See Stop Hate WLV for full details
- visit Stop Hate Crime and fill in the online reporting form which will be forwarded to police for investigation
- if an incident occurs on a train or the Midland Metro, text British Transport Police on 61016
- if the incident is Islamophobic in nature, Tell MAMA by visiting the website or calling 0800 456 1226
- if the incident is anti-Semitic, it can be reported via Community Security Trust’s website or by calling 0208 457 9999
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “The Safer Wolverhampton Partnership takes hate crime incredibly seriously, and all reports will be fully investigated by police.
“During Hate Crime Awareness Week we will be sending out the strong message that hate crime is not tolerated in Wolverhampton, that victims must not suffer in silence and that there are plenty of ways that local people can get involved.
“Most importantly, we would encourage anyone who has either been the victim of hate crime, or has witnessed an incident of hate crime, to speak out and get help and support.”
People can find out more about hate crime by logging on to Stop Hate WLV. National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 12 to 19 October, 2019. For more details of specific events taking place in Wolverhampton, please email Deborah Smith, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Prevent and Cohesion Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For details of National Hate Crime Awareness week, please visit National HCAW 2019.