‘No Place for Hate’ is the theme of Hate Crime Awareness Week which began on Saturday (October 13).
The police and local councils across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are working together to tackle hate crime and highlight how to report it.
A number of awareness raising events will be taking place across the area during the week including a ‘cake not hate’ stand, workshops in schools and a hate awareness market stall.
E-training on hate awareness will also be promoted to council staff across the area.
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against someone because of their disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.
It doesn’t always include physical violence and can include someone using offensive language or harassing someone because of who they are.
Ivan Ould, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for safer communities, said: “I hope people take part in these awareness raising events and embrace the diverse cultures and communities of Leicestershire, or even consider holding an event of their own to celebrate diversity.
“Hate incidents are underreported, but if we all stand together we can help support victims and let them know in Leicestershire there is no place for hate."
Leicestershire Police has a dedicated hate crime officer, Nicola Mannion, who provides advice and support to officers who deal with victims of hate crime and hate incidents in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Nicola said: “Hate crime can take many forms, it is important that people know how hate crimes are defined and how these crimes and incidents can be reported if they occur or are witnessed. Report it to us and we will investigate it.
“Hate incidents and hate crimes don’t just impact on the victim but the whole community so we’re pleased to be working with a range of other agencies to highlight these issues during Hate Crime Awareness Week.”
People can report hate incidents and crimes to the police by phoning 101, there is also the Stamp It Out website (see below) which has online reporting (this can be anonymous) or in an emergency always call 999.