Groups across Bedfordshire are standing together against hate crime this week (8-12 February), raising awareness and encouraging victims to come forward.
As part of the week of action Bedfordshire Police launched its first third party reporting centre, which will provide a platform for speaking out against hate crime in community centres and local groups who are often at the heart of communities.
Hate crime damages communities and police and partner agencies in the county are working hard to improve the way this appalling crime is reported. Training workshops at each of the reporting centres will be taking place this week with more than 50 partner organisations.
A/Sergeant James Hart, dedicated hate crime lead for Bedfordshire Police, says: “Putting an end to hate crime in our communities is a priority for Bedfordshire Police and we are working closely with partners to focus on the victim and provide a way to report any form of hate crime or incident to us in an environment victims feel most comfortable and most supported. Although we have seen an increase in people coming forward we know that hate crime largely remains underreported and it is vital this changes.
“Through our third party reporting centres we aim to improve the understanding and awareness of hate crime in our communities and ensure the people of Bedfordshire are better protected.”
The first third party centres for the county are:
• Mind BLMK, Bedford
• The Disability Resource Centre, Dunstable
• Tokko Youth Space, Luton
• LGBT Links, Luton
• Centre For Youth and Development (CYCD), Luton
Bedfordshire Police is dedicated to putting an end to hostility and creating more unity in the county. During 2016 police will be training further organisations to provide more alternative places to report hate crime, giving victims the confidence to come forward and signposting the public to support available.