Events taking place during hate crime awareness week
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Online events raising awareness of hate crime will be taking place in North Somerset next week during hate crime awareness week.
Activities organised by the Responding to Hate Incidents in North Somerset (RHINS) partnership will highlight what a hate crime is, how to report it whether you are a victim or a witness and the support that is available for those affected by it.
During the week, there will be a focus on racial hate crime, which represents more than 70 per cent of all hate crimes that have been reported to Avon and Somerset police in the past six months.
Between January and August this year, police recorded a total of 2,180 hate crimes across the force area. Of these 1,563 were racial hate crimes, up from 1,366 during the same period last year.
A racial hate crime is an offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race.
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Racial hate comes in many forms – it can be physical, verbal and can also take place online and can be devastating to victims and have life-changing consequences.
Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for community safety, said: “Racial hate crime is not normal and is not ok.
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“There is no place for racism or hatred in North Somerset. The council condemns all forms of racism and is committed to work together with our local communities and partners to combat hate wherever it occurs.”
The week will include online hate crime awareness training for professionals and organisations on Monday from 9.30-11.30am and a Facebook live session with Super Intendent Andy Bennett and Alex Raikes from Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) at 5pm where members of the public can ask questions about hate crime, talk about how the police and other organisations are tackling it and highlight the support services available to victims.
On Thursday, the council’s community safety manager Howard Pothecary will join Mark Nicholson from the police and Nainesh Pandit from SARI in an online Q&A session from 5-6pm. To take part go to the Safer Stronger North Somerset Twitter or Facebook page at 5pm on Thursday.
In addition, RHINS partners have put together an information pack about hate crime, what it is and how those affected by it can get support. This can be downloaded from www.saferstrongerns.co.uk
Cllr Canniford added: “If you are the victim of any sort of hate crime you are not alone.
“There are many organisations able to help and support you, so there is no need for anyone to suffer in silence.
“We urge any victim or witness of an incident or behaviour that you think is, or could be, a hate crime to report it. By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can prevent it happening to someone else.”
Hate crimes can be reported in many ways – call 999 if a crime is happening now or if someone is in immediate danger, 101 if it’s not an emergency or visit www.saferstrongerns.co.uk/hatecrime to find out how to report online.
For the latest on hate crime awareness week in North Somerset, follow @SaferStrongerNS on Twitter and Safer Stronger North Somerset on Facebook and look out for the hashtag #NHCAW20 on social media throughout the week.