Councillors set to take a stand against hate crime
Councillors are set to take a stand against hate crime in Malvern Hills District.
At a Full Council meeting on Tuesday, 27 September, councillors will be asked to back a motion which states Malvern Hills District Council condemns racism, xenophobia and hate crimes of all types and expresses support for all residents within the district.
It also commits the council to continuing to work with police and community organisations to ensure victims of hate crime are supported to report crimes and that action is taken against offenders.
It follows an urgent call by Amnesty International for all councils across the UK to condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crime in all its forms, following a rise in reports of hate crime in recent months across the country.
Reports of hate crime within Malvern Hills District are low. During 2015/16 there were 35 incidents reported involving hate crimes motivated by someone’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, culture or lifestyle.
However, evidence from the Home Office suggests that traditionally about 60 per cent of hate crimes are not reported to the police.
Cllr Hannah Campbell, who will be proposing the motion, said: “Although we are fortunate to live in a tolerant and diverse society, we know hate crime still exists and many go unreported.
“I hope my colleagues will support the motion and send out a strong message that Malvern Hills District Council is proud of all members of our community and hate crime of any type is totally unacceptable and has no place in our society.”
Melanie Baker, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Community Ambassador for Worcestershire and also a district councillor, said: “Nobody should be victimised because of who they are and no victim of hate crime should suffer in silence. Our Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is committed to tackling hate crime; encouraging more incidents to be reported, ensuring the police act on those reports and that victims get the help they need to cope and recover. I’d urge anyone who has been a victim of such an incident not to suffer in silence but to come forward and report their experience.”
A hate crime is a criminal offence which is judged by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility based on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, transgender or individual characteristic that makes them appear different.
This can include physical attacks, damage to property, offensive graffiti, arson, threats of attack, abusive or obscene telephone calls, anti-social behaviour and intimidation, offensive language and harassment.
To report a crime in confidence call police on 101, online at www.report-it.org.uk, at a police station or Victim Support on 01905 726 896. In an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.