Since the referendum result on the status of British membership of the European Union was announced last Friday 24 June, Dorset Police has seen no related increase in reports of hate crime as compared to the same period last year.
Dorset Police would like to reassure local residents that whilst the national spike in hate crime is not affecting reporting in the county, Dorset Police remains vigilant and firm in its resolve that hate crime is unacceptable and will be dealt with robustly.
Mark Cooper is the Assistant Chief Constable. “All forms of hate crime are unacceptable in any circumstances,” he said. “Hatred not only has the potential to cause serious physical and emotional harm, it damages communities and undermines the diversity and tolerance we should be instead celebrating.
“Dorset Police will respond robustly to any incidents. Tackling hate crime is a priority for the Force and we are working with our communities and partners to stamp it out.
“The Force is working to build increased confidence in reporting hate crime. We want to encourage victims to come forward in confidence either directly to us or to the supporting agencies we work with.
“In partnership with Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset Police developed an innovative hate crime app. The app encourages people to report these crimes to enable the police to bring offenders to justice. The app can be downloaded by typing ‘Hate Crime 2’ into your app search engine.”
Hate crime can take many forms, including verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property. Such crime is targeted at a person because of prejudice towards a person’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Karen Duke-Glover leads Dorset Police’s dedicated People, Confidence and Equality team. “We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in the provision of all our services,” she said. “Tackling hate crime is a priority for the Force. We will continue to work closely with Prejudice Free Dorset and other partnership organisation, to ensure we are fully aware of any issues facing our local community.
“The most important thing victims or witnesses of hate crime can do is come forward. Hate crime is known to be widely under-reported. We are sensitive to all the issues, fears and barriers when the public report incidents to Dorset Police. If you have concerns about notifying the police, there are other places and people you can report to.
“Third party reporting centres in Dorset include Access Dorset, Autism Wessex, Borough of Poole, Bournemouth Borough Council, Bournemouth People First, Dorset County Council, Intercom Trust, People Fist Dorset, Poole Forum and Victim Support.”
If you think you may have experienced or witnessed hate crime, report it by contacting Dorset Police, contacting Crimestoppers or using the True Vision website (report-it.org.uk), where you can also find advice about staying safe. In an emergency, dial 999.