01:10PM, Wednesday 10 October 2018
An ongoing police campaign is cracking down on hate crime.
Thames Valley Police (TVP) is stepping up its approach to tackling hate crime over the next two weeks as part of its larger ‘Hidden Harm’ campaign.
The campaign has been running since October 2017, and aims to encourage victims of crimes that do not have obvious physical consequences to find the courage to come forward and seek help.
According to TVP, 2,369 hate crimes were reported last year, which is the equivalent of six a day.
Chief Inspector Helen Roberts, hate crime lead for Thames Valley Police, said:
“Hate crimes can have serious, long-term physical, emotional and financial effects on the lives of those who experience them.
“They can happen anywhere, even online and can take many forms, including threats, intimidation, damage to property and physical attacks.”
A hate crime is any type of crime committed against a person that is motivated by their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
Despite the high amount of reported crimes, police believe that many more are going unreported, and they are encouraging witnesses and victims to come forward and report abuse.
For the campaign, police will be raising awareness by putting up posters across the area and remain on the lookout for hate crimes.
Ch Insp Roberts added: “Hate crime is not something which should be tolerated in our communities which is why it is important we continue to raise awareness to encourage both victims and witnesses to come forward and report it, either to the police or to my Victims First third-party reporting service.”
The campaign, which started on Monday, will run until Sunday, October 21. It will also run alongside National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which starts on Saturday, October 13.
Those who are victims or witnesses of hate crime can speak to Victims First staff on 0300 1234 148.
Visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/general to find out more information about the campaign.
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