Nearly 1,000 hate crimes recorded by Derbyshire police in a year

Nearly 1,000 hate crimes were recorded by Derbyshire Constabulary in the space of a year, figures show.

Between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, the force recorded 960 hate crimes.

Victims of hate crime are being urged to contact Derbyshire police.

Victims of hate crime are being urged to contact Derbyshire police.

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Of these, 721 were racial, 158 concerned the victim’s sexual orientation, 77 were related to disability, 32 were religious and 26 were against transgender members of the community.

The statistics come ahead of Hate Crime Awareness Week, which starts on Saturday and will be marked by the force with a number of events and activities across the county.

Kem Mehmet, Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: "I want to spread the message that crimes born out of hatred will not be tolerated in Derbyshire.

"I want to empower anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of hate crime, or believes they know someone who has, to report it to us so that we can investigate - you can call police on 101.

"I also want to make people aware that hate crime doesn't have to mean someone is physically violent towards you - it can also be verbal or online abuse or harassment based on who you are, or who someone thinks you are.

"Put simply, a hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other perceived difference.

"We know that in some cases, for whatever reason, those who have been affected by hate crime may not feel comfortable reporting an incident directly to police.

"In such cases incidents can be reported via True Vision, an organisation that acts as a third-party reporting centre and allows for relevant information to be passed on to us, subject to permission being granted by the person reporting.

“Hate crime has no place in society and I am committed to ensuring not only that we fully investigate crimes of this nature, but that we provide excellent support to victims and improve rates of satisfaction and confidence within our communities."

Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, added: "Hate crime is a vastly underestimated challenge.

"The crimes and incidents we see reported are just the tip of the iceberg.

"That's why I am funding nine projects aimed at raising awareness of hate crime and how to report it.

"Hate crime is caused by prejudice, intolerance and bigotry.

"It has a big impact on the lives of its victims.

"I want Derbyshire to be a place where this type of behaviour is extinct.

"It is totally unacceptable and I think the time has come for society to stand together and make this perfectly clear."