That’s the view of Cambridgeshire Police and other organisations that have joined forces to raise awareness of the problem and help tackle it.
Opening a recent workshop organised by the police and Fenland Council at the Rosmini Centre, Wisbech, Fenland Area Commander Mike Hills said: “Unfortunately, many victims are reluctant to come to the police directly, so we need to tackle this issue in partnership.
“Protecting the vulnerable is one of the police’s priorities but people must have trust that we will take their reports seriously and do something about them.”
A “hate crime” is any incident perceived as being motivated by prejudice or hate connected with the victim’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. It may include verbal abuse, physical assault, harassment and damage to property.
Around 30 people took part in the workshop, including councillor David Oliver, Fenland Council’s cabinet member for community safety, and representatives from organisations including KLARS (King’s Lynn Area Resettlement Support), CHESS (Cambridgeshire Human Rights and Equality Support Service), the Cambridgeshire Victims’ Hub, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Ferry Project, the Rosmini Centre and the Oasis Centre.
Cllr Oliver said: “The police take hate crime very seriously. But they can only deal with it if victims and witnesses report it and if others lend their support.
“By reporting incidents, you may be able to prevent them from happening to someone else. You will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can respond to it better.”
To report any hate crime, call 101 or visit www.report-it.org.uk/home