Can’t talk to the police? You can always tell us, say trained North Herts CAB hate crime team

PUBLISHED: 12:15 07 September 2015

Pictured are, left to right : Frank Carr, Pam Hinton, Ellen Douglas, Jane Witney, (citizens advice volunteers) Sarah Taylor  (Herts County Council)  Elizabeth Omaghomi

Pictured are, left to right : Frank Carr, Pam Hinton, Ellen Douglas, Jane Witney, (citizens advice volunteers) Sarah Taylor (Herts County Council) Elizabeth Omaghomi

Archant

A new initiative which allows people to report hate crimes without directly contacting the police has been picked up by Citizens Advice Bureau teams in Stevenage and Letchworth.

Hate crimes can come in many different forms, and the trigger can be race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.

One recommendation of the enquiry held in the aftermath of the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence was to set up alternative routes to report hate crimes because there are many reasons why victims or witnesses may not feel comfortable going directly to the police.

There are nine reporting centres across Herts, helping police to get a better understanding of the level of hate crime in any area, and improve on the way they respond.

They know that hate crimes are often not reported, which was one of the reasons behind the move to introduce third party reporting.

Programme manager Sarah Taylor of Hertfordshire’s community safety unit said: “Despite us seeing an increase in the reporting of these incidents it remains a very under-reported area.

“The only way we can change this is by continuing to make the public and partner agencies aware of hate crime and reassuring victims, carers’ families and friends that help is available.”

Roanne Mangham from North Herts CAB said: “Hate crime in any form is wrong.

“It is very important that, if hate crime happens to you or someone you know, you have a safe confidential place to report it.

“We are very happy to have received the training needed to become a third party reporting centre and hope we can help encourage people who have suffered to come forward.

“Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends, and your community. By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else.”

The Stevenage CAB office is in Swingate House, Danestrete while the North Herts team have their base in Leys Avenue, Letchworth. You can find out more about the initiative and report hate crimes directly at www.report-it.org.uk.

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