More people are reporting hate crimes

Sussex Police has been named as one of only three police forces in England and Wales to record an increase in reporting across all five forms of hate crime monitored by police - disability, race, religious belief, sexual orientation and transgender.

Hate Crime can be in the form of verbal abuse, physical assault, domestic abuse, harassment and damage to property.

“This is positive news,” said Deputy Chief Constable Giles York.

“We are determined to increase people’s confidence in reporting so that victims get the support they need. We have made reporting as accessible and straight-forward as possible and staff are trained to identify hate crime and incidents at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Last year we saw an increase in reporting of 13% - 681 in 2011/12 and 786 in 2012/13 - and since April this year the trend is increasing which is again positive.

“However, we know that this is an area with significant under reporting and we are working closely with community groups to increase reporting, widen awareness and build confidence with victims to help bring offenders to justice.

“Our message to offenders is that it will not be tolerated. Hate crimes are abhorrent and we will target you.

“Victims, family and friends we urge you not to suffer in silence. Talk to us we can help.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, said: “It is very encouraging to know that Sussex Police is only one of three police forces who have seen an increase in reporting across all five strands of hate crime.

“Usually this crime is under-reported and that is why it is a priority in my Police & Crime Plan. I am determined to build public confidence and trust in the police and criminal justice system for everyone.

“However, I know that many minority groups have not always had the same trust in the police. The process of re-building this trust by increasing the reporting of hate crime can only be achieved when police and relevant organisations work together.”

The number of reported hate crimes has increased from 2011/12 to 2012/3: race 520 to 564; religion 23 to 35; sexual orientation 111 to 119; disability 23 to 48; and transgender 4 to 20.