IT'S Hate Crime Awareness Week and residents are being encouraged to stand up and speak out against discrimination. 

Hate crime is a crime or incident against you, your friends, your family or your property because of your actual or presumed sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, race or religion. It can take many forms such as physical and verbal attacks, vandalism, graffiti, online abuse and threatening behaviours.

This year, the theme of Hate Crime Awareness Week is 'Let's Hate Hate' and the Office of the Police and Crome Commissioner has launched a series of posters to inform the public.

Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Hate crime doesn’t belong in a civilised society. Its impact can be devastating for victims and it can spread fear amongst communities. My campaign reinforces the message that hate crime is something which should not be tolerated in our communities and I hope it encourages both victims and witnesses of hate crime to come forward.

“The issue of online hate crime is also a growing threat and I welcome the Home Secretary’s recent announcement of a national hub to tackle it. I hope that a dedicated team with specialist officers will increase prosecutions of perpetrators and that it will enable victims of online hate crime to have access to dedicated support”.

The Office of the PCC run a Third Party Reporting Mechanism for Hate Crime which allows victims and witnesses of hate crime who aren't comfortable reporting directly to the police, to contact them instead. The service ensures that both victims and witnesses of hate crime have access to the support they need. Reports can be made by phone on 0300 1234 148 or online through our Victims First website From April 2018, a dedicated hub will be launched by the Office of the PCC to increase access to support services for victims of crime. Under the PCCs Victims First brand, the new hub will provide a single referral point for all victims of crime, including victims of hate crime.

Campaign posters and postcards are available to local community groups by emailing