Community football tournament kicks off Hate Crime Awareness Week in Herts
- Credit: Archant
A community football tournament kicked off National Hate Crime Awareness Week on Sunday.
Herts police officers joined forces with players from Stevenage, Hertford and Cheshunt football clubs in a seven-a-side tournament at Hertford Town FC's home ground.
The event marked the start of Hate Crime Awareness Week, a nationwide campaign running from October 12 to 19, which will see a number of events organised across Hertfordshire.
Herts police hate crime officers are out and about this week, appearing in town centres, community centres, schools and colleges.
North Herts College in Stevenage, Jackie's Drop In Centre in Letchworth, and the University of Hertfordshire's Hatfield campus, are hosting 'spread sweets not hate' events, showcasing sweets from around the world in a bid to encourage diversity.
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Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd - who's office leads the Hertfordshire Hate Crime Partnership Board - said: "Hertfordshire is a safe county but, like everywhere, hate crimes can occur. These crimes can have a severe impact on the victim themselves and the wider community can also suffer as hate can breed fear and suspicion.
"We are united in Hertfordshire in our commitment to tackling hate crime and improving outcomes for victims."
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Hate Crime Awareness Week follows news this week that there has been a 10 per cent rise in hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales.
Home Office figures showed a record 103,379 hate crime offences had been committed in 2018/19.
A hate crime is any criminal offence that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
For more information on Hate Crime Awareness Week see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hertsagainsthate.