Hitting back at hate crime

PUBLISHED: 10:09 01 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:37 06 May 2010

Sgt Steve Oliphant (centre) at the launch of the scheme

Sgt Steve Oliphant (centre) at the launch of the scheme

A SERVICE encouraging people with learning difficulties and disabilities to report hate crime has been launched. As part of the hate crime reporting centre, a post box has been unveiled at the Letchworth Freechurch Community Centre in Gernon Road. The ide

A SERVICE encouraging people with learning difficulties and disabilities to report hate crime has been launched.

As part of the hate crime reporting centre, a post box has been unveiled at the Letchworth Freechurch Community Centre in Gernon Road.

The idea of the project is to encourage people with learning difficulties and disabilities - who are often victims of bullying, harassment, abuse and hate crime - to come forward more readily and report any incidents with confidence.

The new service is being spearheaded by Hertford-shire-based People in Partnership, which includes MENCAP, Bullying Task Force and Adult Care Services, and Hertford-shire Constabulary.

Hate crime officer PC Ashley Johnson said: "Hertfordshire Constabulary takes hate crime very seriously as it can be extremely damaging to both the individual and to their community.

"It is my job to assist and encourage the community to come forward and report these terrible crimes."

Victims are asked to complete a form and post it in the box.

Reports will then be passed directly to the police.

Letchworth community team sergeant Steve Oliphant, who officially opened the centre, said: "This will make a valuable contribution in assisting us in the detection of crime and incidents."

Judith Peters, who regularly uses the centre, said: "I want to say thank you to everyone for working together like this to make sure we can be safe."

The police will also visit the centre weekly to build confidence and forge closer links with the local community.


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