Colchester councillors set to become Hate Crime Ambassadors

PUBLISHED: 9 November 2020

Date issued: 9 November 2020

Twelve councillors have signed up for Essex Police training that will see them qualify as Hate Crime Ambassadors.

The online course, which is being delivered in two sessions on 12 and 18 November, is one of several activities organised by Colchester Borough Council as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which took place in October.

Hate Crime Ambassadors promote awareness and incident reporting in their communities and help foster public understanding of the impact hate crime can have on victims.

There are already more than 120 Hate Crime Ambassadors in Colchester. Some are based in one of seven Hate Incident Reporting Centres in the borough – community venues where individuals can be supported either to report or access services following a Hate Crime.

The course provides ambassadors with an awareness of what Hate Crime is and the skills to support victims to report Hate Crime. They are also equipped with basic safety advice for victims and signposting options to support victims.

Hate Crime is defined as: “Any incident, whether a crime or not, which is perceived by anyone to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.”

These personal characteristics (whether actual or perceived) could be: 

  • Race: including ethnicity, nationality or national origin, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities
  • Religion or belief: including no faith
  • Sexual Orientation: including Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual
  • Gender Identity: including transgender, non-binary, and gender fluid
  • Disability: including learning, mental health, physical or sensory disability

 Hate Crime can take many forms, including:

  • Threat of, or actual, assault
  • Verbal abuse
  • Inciting others to commit Hate Crime
  • Intimidating behaviour or harassment, including online
  • Damage to property, including arson
  • Offensive leaflets, posters or graffiti

Cllr Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “Colchester is a proudly diverse and welcoming borough. Despite our long tradition of tolerance and openness, however, hate crime remains a serious issue for some members of our community and can greatly impact on their quality of life.

“We must not allow prejudice and intolerance to prevail. Hate crime, in all its manifestations, is utterly detestable. That is why I am delighted that more of my fellow councillors are to become Hate Crime Ambassadors. They recognise, as do I, that our common humanity and the principles of empathy and compassion for others underlie cohesion and good relations in our community.

“Long may Colchester stand as a beacon of hope over hatred.”

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Page last reviewed: 9 November 2020


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