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United front in the battle against hate crime

Cambridgeshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite and Fenland District Council Cabinet member David Oliver came together today (Tuesday, October 11) to help promote efforts to combat hate crime.

Hate Crime Awareness Week 2016

They were among those manning a stand at the Tesco superstore in March on Tuesday. They were joined there by Fenland Area Commander Chief Inspector Mike Hills, other members of the Cambridgeshire force and members of Fenland council's community safety team.

The event was part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, a national campaign organised by Stop Hate UK and the charity, 17-24-30.

It aims to encourage everyone, including all local authorities, police services and voluntary organisations, to work together to raise awareness about the different ways to report hate crime and the support services that exist to help victims.

Councillor Oliver, who is also chairman of the Fenland Community Safety partnership, said: "We know that too many hate crimes still go unreported. That's why we all need to work together to ensure that anyone affected by it knows where and how they can report it and what support is available and that all perpetrators are brought to justice."

Mr Ablewhite said:  "I encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime to report incidents to the police without fear - you will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.

"Whether it is based on race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity - if it affects you, report it. As Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to ensuring this crime is taken seriously and responded to."

Chief Inspector Hills said: "Protecting the vulnerable is the primary priority of the police.  It is essential that the public feel confident that we take their reports seriously and do something about them. 

"Hate crime in all its forms is unacceptable and we work closely with our partners to tackle it effectively and to protect individuals and communities from hostility, violence and bigotry."

A "hate crime" is any incident perceived as being motivated by prejudice or hate connected with the victim's race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. It may include verbal abuse, physical assault, harassment and damage to property.

In July Fenland councillors passed unanimously a strongly worded motion condemning racism, xenophobia and hate crimes.

· To report any hate crime, call 101 (or 999 in an emergency) or visit www.report-it.org.uk/home.

Article added October 11, 2016