Hate crime victims urged to report offences to South Yorkshire Police
Hate crime victims in South Yorkshire are being urged to report offences, with police chiefs vowing that all incidents will be investigated seriously and thoroughly.
A new Home Office report out earlier this week revealed an increase in the hate crime offences in England and Wales, with 103,379 incidents reported in 2018/19 - 10 per cent more than the previous year and more than double the 2012/13 figure of 42,255.
Race remained the main trigger in the majority of reported offences at 76 per cent of the total.
There were also increases in the number of transgender identity hate crimes - up by 37 per cent in the last year from 1,703 to 2,333 - and a 25 per cent hike in offences motivated by sexual orientation, with 14,491 reported compared to 11,592 last year.
Superintendent Sarah Poolman, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We welcome the rise in the number of hate crimes being reported in the last year.
“This increase indicates that as a force we are getting it right not only in terms of the Home Office recording standards, but more importantly, for vulnerable victims and their support network who now have more confidence to report.
“It takes a great deal of courage to report a crime, so it is positive to see that more victims feel comfortable in coming forward and speaking to police.
“We always listen to victims, take all allegations seriously and investigate all hate crimes thoroughly.”
She added: “As a force, we are committed to raising awareness of hate crime and, over the last 12 months we have continued to work hard with our partners to reinforce the message that hate crime will not be tolerated and to build confidence within our communities.
“We have a dedicated hate crime coordinators in every district who actively engage with community support groups and victims to build confidence and resilience at a local level.
“We are also committed to improving our response and investigation.”
Supt Poolman said; “All hate crimes are reviewed in order to achieve positive outcomes for victims, and we also regularly seek feedback from victims and community groups through our surveys and local hate crime scrutiny panels to constantly assess and improve the way we do things.
“It’s really important that we know what is happening within communities, so that we can intervene early and prevent escalation.
“No one should be made to feel unsafe or threatened because of hatred or intolerance. If you have been a victim of or a witness to a hate crime, please report it.”