VULNERABLE victims of crime in Sheffield will have more places to report incidents when a network of ‘third party reporting centres’ is opened across the city.
Sheffield Council has joined forces with Sheffield University, Sheffield Homes, libraries, Heeley City Farm, Sheffield Hallam University, Victim Support, Wolsley Road Mosque, First Point reception points and the Centre for HIV and Sexual Health to help make it easier for victims to report hate crimes.
Victims will be able to report issues such as race hate or disability discrimination, to trained staff.
The aim is to reach minority groups who may be too scared to report crimes through traditional routes.
Coun Harry Harpham, deputy leader of Sheffield Council, said: “We believe we need to do more to tackle the very sensitive issue of hate crime.
“It takes great courage for victims to report the crime in the first place, but they may be discouraged or too scared to talk about it in more formal environments, such as at their local police station.
“We, and our partners such as the police, want to make reporting hate crimes easier for all sections of society and to break down barriers.
“These third party reporting centres will see staff from various organisations becoming the first port of call for victims.
“They will allow people to speak to trained professionals in a friendly, confidential environment so that we and our partners can do more to tackle the problems that exist.
“Details will then be passed to the police to carry out detailed investigations.”
The first new reporting centre, at Howden House on Union Street in Sheffield city centre, will be opened today.