Hate crime scheme to be extended across the county
A scheme piloted in Fenland to encourage victims and witnesses of hate crimes to report any incidents is to be extended across the county.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary want to see third party reporting centres expanded into other areas following the Fenland trial.
About 20 centres were set up in the district last year to give people extra ways of reporting incidents as an alternative to going directly to the police.
The issue was highlighted last month when a strongly worded motion condemning racism, xenophobia and hate crimes was passed unanimously at Fenland District Council’s full meeting of on July 21.
The motion was tabled after two councillors had been approached by local residents wanting the council to send out a strong message.
This week, Inspector Dean Wiffin, Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s lead on hate crime, said: “We need to expand third party reporting across the whole county.
“Fenland has been used as a pilot; elsewhere the opportunities for reporting are less well know and we need to improve on that.
“Like the rest of the country, historically we’ve experienced under-reporting of these crimes.
“I’m really keen to stress that we want to work with anyone affected so that they feel confident to come forward.
“We want to help people understand the reporting process and help them through it.”
The motion passed at Fenland District Council’s full meeting on Thursday July 21 read: “We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society.
“Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country.
“Fenland District Council condemns racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally.
“We will not allow hate to become acceptable.
“Fenland District council will work to ensure local bodies and programmes have the support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia.
“We reassure all people living in Fenland that they are valued members of our community.”
Proposed by Councillor David Mason and seconded by Councillor Gavin Booth, it gained full cross-party support.