Date issued: 11 October 2019
To mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week (12 to 19 October 2019), Colchester Borough Council is hosting training events for its frontline staff to raise awareness of hate crimes and how and when they should be reported.
Lou Middleton, Essex Police’s hate crime officer for Colchester will lead the Hate Crime Awareness and Hate Crime Ambassador training, which will enable attendees to recognise a hate crime incident, learn how to deal with it, the pathways for reporting and how they can provide advice and support to victims and witnesses.
Councillor Michael Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “UK Home Office figures show that between December 2017 and November 2018 there were 2476 Hate Crimes and Incidents reported to Essex Police for the whole of Essex. These shocking figures reveal that there are people out there who wish to do harm to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“The Council is committed to ensuring that our borough is a safe and welcoming place for people of all ages, genders, faiths and nationalities. This awareness week is an excellent opportunity for us to run additional training courses for our frontline staff, to further develop their understanding of the different types of Hate Crimes and how to support victims. We will continue to work in partnership with Essex Police and other local organisations to tackle hate crime in our borough to create a better Colchester.”
Lou Middleton said: “We understand how hate crime can have long-lasting emotional, and sometimes physical, effects on victims, and we want to help in every way we can.
“We encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to report it to us, either directly, via a third party, or by visiting one of the Hate Incident Reporting Centres (HIRCs) across the county.
“There are also a number of organisations that can help, such as Stop Hate UK.
“Myself and two colleagues will also be in Culver Square, Colchester, on Wednesday 16 October between 9am and 12pm, so if you have any concerns or questions about hate crime please come and speak to us.”
More information on how to report a hate crime can be found at https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information