PC Lewis Thomson has been a police officer since 2020 and, earlier this year, he took up a new role as hate crime officer for North Hertfordshire. Here's what he makes of his current position.

“Being a hate crime officer is challenging and rewarding. After three years on intervention responding to incidents, I wanted to have time to investigate crimes and be more victim-focused and this role gives me that.

“I have more time to support victims, I’ve got a varied workload of investigations and I’m out establishing contacts across the community, encouraging people to report hate crime to police or at third party reporting centres.”

Hate crime officers work to tackle and challenge these incidents motivated by hatred, educate people and support those who have been affected.

Lewis said he enjoys the varied role, spending time with people from different cultures, faiths and sexual orientations, those living with disabilities and learning about them and raising awareness of hate crime.

“I went along to a Pride-hosted picnic marking International Trans Day in Hitchin recently and I’ve got a busy calendar of events to attend throughout the year to meet residents and speak to them about hate crime and how to report it.”

Hate crimes include assaults, threats or acts of vandalism, or any other crime committed against someone because of their disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.


Lewis, who worked as a recruitment consultant for five years before becoming a police officer, said: “I was looking for a job that wasn’t target-driven or money-focused but instead would make a positive difference to people’s lives, so policing was the natural choice.”

He works from police stations across his patch and is also there to offer wraparound care to officers and police staff who have been victims of hate crime.

“I offer a one-to-one service to colleagues to talk about hate crime if they’ve been targeted – talk about how it made them feel, if it’s happened before, if there’s anything we can do to prevent it recurring, to make them feel safer.”

When he’s not working, Lewis is a keen gardener and is looking forward to getting married in the autumn.

“Please, don’t ignore hate, report it,” he urged, asking anyone who has been a victim or witnesses a hate crime to report the matter to the police either by phone, online or to one of the many third-party reporting centres around the county.

You can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, via web chat at herts.police.uk/contact, or by calling 101.