Council supports hate crime campaign
During Learning Disabilities Week, St Helens Council has sent out a stark warning that it will not tolerate hate crime.
A hate crime is any offence or incident committed against individuals, groups and communities because of who they are. Victims of hate crime are often reluctant to report crimes committed against them, due to fear or distrust of reporting.
Merseyside Police has a dedicated Hate Crime Investigation Unit (SIGMA), experienced in dealing with incidents of hate crime. Officers are specially trained, and treat incidents of hate crime with sensitivity and confidentiality. They are there to ensure hate crimes are fully investigated and prosecuted, hate crime offenders are held accountable for their actions, and that victims receive the best possible service and support.
Says Councillor Sue Murphy, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Safer Communities and Youth said: “Hate crime is different to other types of crime because it is motivated by prejudice towards the victim. There is a general duty placed on courts to treat hate crime offences more robustly than other types of crime due to the effect it can have on victims. Research has shown that hate crimes cause greater psychological harm than similar crimes that are not motivated through prejudice.”
Incidents of hate crime remain low in St Helens when compared to other areas in Merseyside, however Merseyside Police, and St Helens Community Safety Partnership want to make it clear than any hate crime is one too many and are urging victims to come forward and report the crime.
If you do not want to report a hate crime directly to the police, you can contact Stop Hate UK - a charity that provides independent and confidential support to people affected by hate crime. Stop Hate UK is being funded by St Helens Council and is fully supported by the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to provide 24-hour support to victims of hate crime.
There are a number of ways you can contact Stop Hate UK: