A hate incident is an act of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents. They say something is a hate incident if the victim or anyone else think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things:
Citizens Advice Arun & Chichester has teamed up with the Sussex Police as part of continuing drive to increase the awareness and reporting of the hate crime.
Staff at the Bognor, Chichester and Littlehampton centres attended hate crime awareness sessions, led by the force hate crime sergeant, Peter Allan. The sessions covered: what a hate crime is, how to report, what happens after the report has been made and the input victims have in that process.
Staff were presented with certificates by Chief Inspector Pip Taylor, Arun District Commander who said, "Not everyone recognises when they have been a victim of hate crime. I am sure that this pilot with the Citizens Advice Arun & Chichester will enhance the support they already provide to their many clients, and through that we will be able to support victims and hold perpetrators to account, for what is the most personal of crimes."
After the sessions, the staff in the centres will be better able to recognise when a client who may have contacted the centre for a totally separate reason, has been the victim of a hate crime. Staff will, if the client requests, be able to report the incident on their behalf or support them while they make the report.
Carol Groves, Chief Executive of the Citizens Advice Arun & Chichester said, " I am really pleased that our staff will be attending these sessions in order that they can better support our clients. Client queries cover many different topics and I'm sure some of them involve hate crime."
Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends and your community. By reporting hate crime when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else. You will also help the police to better understand the level of hate crime in your local area, and improve the way they respond to it.