Bedfordshire Police second in national hate crime conviction figures

TVP have arrested an 18 year old

TVP have arrested an 18 year old

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A massive 96 per cent of hate crime charges resulted in a conviction, putting Bedfordshire Police second nationally for hate crime convictions.

The force has also seen a 38 per cent increase in hate crime charges compared to last year.

Figures are steadily rising as Bedfordshire Police and countywide partners have made it easier to report hate crime in more comfortable and familiar environments

Reports of disability hate crime offences has also increased by 80 per cent over the last year, demonstrating the confidence people now feel in coming forward.

Hate Crime Sergeant James Hart said: “This is a very positive step forward for the organisation as these offences can be difficult to identify, this also means more people are coming forward and speaking out against discrimination meaning an increase in public confidence amongst hard to reach communities.”

A new Hate Crime Strategic Lead for Bedfordshire Police has also been introduced, Chief Inspector Steve Ashdown takes over from Chief Insp Gaynor Coulson. During her role as Force Hate Crime Lead Chief Insp Coulson has been successful in bringing agencies more closely together to ensure those affected in Bedfordshire are better protected, as well as raising public awareness of hate crime.

Chief Insp Ashdown said: “I am honoured to be taking over the role and carrying on the good work of Chief Insp Coulson, especially around ensuring victims have the confidence to speak out. I am really passionate about leading this area as I believe everybody deserves to live a life without fear and prejudice towards any aspect of a person’s identity.

“I also look forward to working closely with the force’s dedicated hate crime Sergeant James Hart and Bedfordshire Hate Crime Partnership group, who have done some brilliant work in helping to put the wheels in motions in getting these projects off the ground within the community.”

Bedfordshire Police has set up a new Twitter account which you can follow @bedshatecrime to keep up to date with how the force tackles hate crime.

Hate crime can be reported to police on 101 or online to True Vision at www.report-it.org.