October 15, 2015 10.56 am This story is over 97 months old

Can you help stamp out hate crime?

Can you help?: Do you know a hate crime when you see one? Help stamp out the issue by reporting incidents.

Can you help your friends, colleagues, neighbours or vulnerable members of our community?

Stop and ask yourself, “Could they be suffering from hate crime?”

A hate crime or incident is something that’s perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation or gender identification.

They can take many forms including physical attacks, threats, verbal abuse, neighbour disputes, arson, graffiti, intimation or harassment, bullying at school, college or work, harassment by phone, text, email or through the internet, taking money, theft and even murder.

At Lincolnshire Police we take positive action and investigate all hate crimes and incidents, but we can only take action to deal with it if it is reported.

I know that reporting an incident or crime takes courage, but the sooner we’re made aware that something maybe happening then the quicker we can investigate.

Speak to anyone who you think may be suffering from hate crime and support them to report these incidents either direct to Lincolnshire Police – ring 101 and tell our member of staff that you think this is a hate crime – or contact Stop Hate UK by ringing 0800 138 1625 or by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org.

Remember, anyone can report hate crime and it will significantly help the investigation if you are able to provide:

•          A description of the perpetrator(s)
•          Details of any witnesses to the incident
•          A diary record of any ongoing incidents and previous incidents you have experienced
•          Original copies of any hate mail that has been sent to you
•          Evidence of damage to property, graffiti etc. It is advisable not to clear these up before reporting the incident if possible

I recognise that when a hate crime or incident occurs it does not simply affect the victim but can, and often does, seriously affect whole families, the wider community and society as a whole.

If you suspect a hate crime or incident has been committed we need to investigate at the earliest opportunity to ensure the matter is resolved and that people aren’t living in fear.

Inspector Suzanne Davies is the Community Policing Inspector for Lincoln South West Policing area.