Zero tolerance for hate crimes says Bedfordshire Police as meeting told incidents reached 'record levels'

Police say now the control room is answering calls faster, they can respond to crimes more quickly
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Bedfordshire Police will not tolerate any forms of hate crime and now its Control Room is answering calls faster it can respond to crimes more quickly, a meeting heard.

During last night’s Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel (March 18) councillor Basit Mahmood (Luton Borough) said: “There’s been a 335 per cent increase in anti-Muslim hate crime over the last four months, given recent events.

“We’ve seen anti-Semitic hate crimes reach record levels according to the Community Security Trust last year.

Bedfordshire Police headquarters. Picture: National WorldBedfordshire Police headquarters. Picture: National World
Bedfordshire Police headquarters. Picture: National World

“What’s been done on that front to reach our communities in our diverse borough?”

The chief constable, Trevor Rodenhurst, said: “Obviously, there’s two communities in our county right now who feel arguably less safe than they did, understandably, before October 7.

“And it’s our job to reassure those communities in relation to giving them confidence to report hate crimes.

“So what we are doing is we’re doing a lot of visible engagement with community leaders, religious establishments, and other places basically to encourage communities to report any form of hate crime.

“We’ve got a dedicated senior investigating officer who reviews any report. We will actually take it really really seriously and we’ll not tolerate any form of hate crime.”

Councillor Mahmood said figures show that 60 per cent of crimes go unreported.

“We hold a councillor surgery where residents come and say ‘I haven’t bothered reporting my broken window or someone breaking into my car because the police won’t do anything’.

“I think we’ve got a crisis of confidence in the police, I know that’s going to take not just the police, it’s going to take the councils, it’s going to take a multi-faceted approach, but what are you doing to increase confidence [in reporting crime]?” he asked.

The chief constable replied: “We’ve fixed the Control Room, so people are being answered quickly.

“So if the experience of ringing our control room is one of a swift response with professionals waiting at the other end that enables us to get people to people quicker.

“And we’ve got more available resources and are going to less things that we shouldn’t be at.

“This is a partnership between us, the public and our partners.

“[As councillors] you have a significant voice collectively within our communities and my ask of yourselves is to encourage the public to report to us.

“Because that’s how we spot risk, trends, and unless we know about it we can’t do anything about it.”