Organisations from across Lincoln have come together to show their support for the national Hate Crime Awareness Week which begins on Saturday, October 10.
The purpose of the week is to tackle hate crime issues by raising awareness of what a hate crime is and how to respond to it, by promoting local and national support services and resources.
Organisers say it provides an opportunity to increase awareness of all forms of hate crime including those based on disability, faith, gender identity, race and sexual orientation.
The organisations involved include the City of Lincoln Council, Lincolnshire Police, University of Lincoln, Just Lincolnshire and Voluntary Centre Services.
Wes Shelbourne from Just Lincolnshire said: “It is important we raise awareness of what hate crime is so that people recognise it and report it.
“The reporting of racial hate crimes is usually higher than others, which is more than likely because people are more aware of what’s acceptable with regards to race and ethnicity and feel more able to report it.
“However, there has been an increase in incidents of hate crime where someone’s disability and sexual orientation is targeted and it’s important that these are recognised and reported to either the police or Stop Hate UK, a national charity whose staff are able to offer support and guidance and have direct access to the most appropriate agency to meet a victim’s needs”.
City Councillor Roseanne Kirk added: “Everyone should be able to be themselves and live their lives safely and I strongly encourage people to report any hate crimes and incidents they are victims of or witness taking place.”
Hate crime is a form of abuse that specifically targets a person’s identity and has a huge negative impact on those that are subject to abuse, their families and by the community as a whole.
There are different forms of hate crimes that can take place:
- Physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbourhood disputes and arson.
- Threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone call, intimidation or malicious complaints.
- Verbal abuse or insults – including offensive letters and posters, abusive gestures, and bullying at school or in the workplace.
Hate Crime incidents can be reported directly to Police on 101 or 999 or alternatively Stop Hate UK are commissioned to provide their independent 24 hour reporting service throughout Lincolnshire. You can contact the service via phone on 0800 138 1625 or online.