New initiative launched in South Worcestershire to tackle hate crime

UNDERWAY: Sergeant Ian Blanchard, Richard West and Adrian Symonds of West Mercia Police at the press conference outside Malvern Citizen's Advice Bureau

UNDERWAY: Sergeant Ian Blanchard, Richard West and Adrian Symonds of West Mercia Police at the press conference outside Malvern Citizen's Advice Bureau

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WEST Mercia Police and South Worcestershire Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) are teaming up to help reporting hate crimes easier.

Around 130 staff members and volunteers at Malvern's and Evesham's CABs have undergone training to allow the centres to become reporting stations for hate crimes, as the police force looks to tackle "under reporting" of the issue.

The information collated in these reports will then be passed on to the police who can investigate and offer further support.

The project, which is already practised in Telford, Shropshire, was launched at a press conference in Malvern on Friday, August 8 and is the first of its kind in the South Worcestershire area.

Sergeant Ian Blanchard, from the Malvern Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "The simplest way to stop someone committing a hate crime is to report it.

"The idea of this new initiative is to make it easier for people who want to report hate crimes to do so, and for us to tackle the issue more effectively.

"Hate crime figures haven't risen , but we are aware a lot of crimes are going unreported.

"It's this under-reporting we are trying to tackle. We have become aware in the past through hear say or word of mouth of hate crimes being committed, but we need them reported straight away.

"The other benefits of using staff members at CAB centres, is that sometimes victims of hate crimes can be reluctant to come to police officers, but may be more inclined to report to CAB centres if they already have a rapport with volunteers and staff there, and it's not so formal."

Richard West, advice services manager at the Malvern CAB office, said: "Our staff are highly trained and extremely helpful and I would encourage anyone who would like to report a hate crime to talk to one of them.

"Even if you don't want to make an official report, we can offer informal support and advice."

For the financial year of 2012-13 there were 270 reporting of hate crimes in the South Worcestershire, which fell to 227 for the years 2013-2014.

Between April and July this year, there were 81 reports of hate crimes.

For more information visit warwickshire.police.uk

Comments (6)

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10:22pm Fri 8 Aug 14

CYNIC_AL says...

I hate olives. Are the plod going to bash my door in?
I hate olives. Are the plod going to bash my door in? CYNIC_AL
  • Score: 4

10:30am Sat 9 Aug 14

drowningnotwaving says...

Looks like police trying to justify a budget. Hate crime figures haven´t gone up how do we keep our budget?

CAB who´d have thought would be police narks
Looks like police trying to justify a budget. Hate crime figures haven´t gone up how do we keep our budget? CAB who´d have thought would be police narks drowningnotwaving
  • Score: 2

11:42am Sat 9 Aug 14

pinkfluff says...

CYNIC_AL wrote:
I hate olives. Are the plod going to bash my door in?
LOL you are allowed to hate olives, just don't commit any crimes against them.

I hate olives too and get fed up with people telling me to keep eating them because one day I will like them. Apparently when I tried one I ate the "wrong" olive!!
[quote][p][bold]CYNIC_AL[/bold] wrote: I hate olives. Are the plod going to bash my door in?[/p][/quote]LOL you are allowed to hate olives, just don't commit any crimes against them. I hate olives too and get fed up with people telling me to keep eating them because one day I will like them. Apparently when I tried one I ate the "wrong" olive!! pinkfluff
  • Score: 3

12:27am Sun 10 Aug 14

DarrenM says...

"The simplest way to stop someone committing a hate crime is to report it."

How does that work then? Surely to report it , it has to have already happened? - I think I've just worked out where Worst Farcia are going wrong - That's why they don't bother to patrol anywhere - they're all sat at the station expecting the phone to ring with people reporting crimes in advance!
"The simplest way to stop someone committing a hate crime is to report it." How does that work then? Surely to report it , it has to have already happened? - I think I've just worked out where Worst Farcia are going wrong - That's why they don't bother to patrol anywhere - they're all sat at the station expecting the phone to ring with people reporting crimes in advance! DarrenM
  • Score: 4

11:37am Sun 10 Aug 14

willing says...

So what's the definition of a hate crime...other than hating olives, courgettes, and custard on steak and kidney pie, because they're all obvious?
So what's the definition of a hate crime...other than hating olives, courgettes, and custard on steak and kidney pie, because they're all obvious? willing
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Chronos says...

It sounds like yet another nail in the rapidly closing coffin of free speech to me.

Or, even more likely, another stage along the insidious path leading to the eventual reintroduction of the (absurdly anachronistic) blasphemy laws.

What a pitiful state of affairs that this once proud country now finds itself in, when its citizens can be prosecuted for telling the truth.

And what is "hate crime" anyway? What does one have to do to commit such a transgression? Does it need to involve some physical form of abuse? Or written material? Or simply words?

I may be wrong, but I'd imagine most "hate" crimes involve the victims being somehow 'offended' verbally.

It's a slippery slope we travel once the balance is tipped such that a person's right not to be 'offended' is considered more important than a citizen's right to express his or her opinion.

We're already being surreptitiously conditioned on the correct things to say and do, it won't be too much longer before we're told what to think.

And yes, I've heard all the 'free speech carries a responsibility' type arguments, but I don't buy any of that flannel. If you libel, slander, or dishonestly defame another person or institution, we already have perfectly adequate laws to deal with such offenses.

On the contrary, what we are starting to see more and more of in this country are individuals pilloried (and even prosecuted) for stating facts, and for expressing honest opinions about ideas and ideologies. I mean, how can an ideology be 'offended' for goodness sake.

If you honestly think free speech should come with legal provisos, I invite you to look around the world at countries where such restrictions are imposed and strictly enforced, and I'd ask if you'd like to live there?

What this country desperately needs is a formal written Constitution, with our equivalent of the USA's 1st Amendment writ large on page one.
It sounds like yet another nail in the rapidly closing coffin of free speech to me. Or, even more likely, another stage along the insidious path leading to the eventual reintroduction of the (absurdly anachronistic) blasphemy laws. What a pitiful state of affairs that this once proud country now finds itself in, when its citizens can be prosecuted for telling the truth. And what is "hate crime" anyway? What does one have to do to commit such a transgression? Does it need to involve some physical form of abuse? Or written material? Or simply words? I may be wrong, but I'd imagine most "hate" crimes involve the victims being somehow 'offended' verbally. It's a slippery slope we travel once the balance is tipped such that a person's right not to be 'offended' is considered more important than a citizen's right to express his or her opinion. We're already being surreptitiously conditioned on the correct things to say and do, it won't be too much longer before we're told what to think. And yes, I've heard all the 'free speech carries a responsibility' type arguments, but I don't buy any of that flannel. If you libel, slander, or dishonestly defame another person or institution, we already have perfectly adequate laws to deal with such offenses. On the contrary, what we are starting to see more and more of in this country are individuals pilloried (and even prosecuted) for stating facts, and for expressing honest opinions about ideas and ideologies. I mean, how can an ideology be 'offended' for goodness sake. If you honestly think free speech should come with legal provisos, I invite you to look around the world at countries where such restrictions are imposed and strictly enforced, and I'd ask if you'd like to live there? What this country desperately needs is a formal written Constitution, with our equivalent of the USA's 1st Amendment writ large on page one. Chronos
  • Score: 1

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