Hate crime on the rise in Hertfordshire
- Credit: Archant
With hate crime on the rise in Hertfordshire, young people have launched a video to raise awareness of the issue and encourage victims to speak out.
In 2016/17, there were 1,337 reported hate crime incidents in the county resulting in 38 arrests and 177 charges or summons, Herts police have confirmed following a Freedom of Information request.
In 2017/18 this rose to 1,489 reported incidents resulting in just one arrest and 164 charges or summons.
Young people working with YC Hertfordshire - a youth initiative which is part of Herts County Council - have launched a video to encourage the reporting of hate crime.
The teenagers are from the Who Not What group of LGBTQ - lesbian, gay, transgender, questioning - young people.
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The video depicts a young person who is targeted because of her sexuality and is supported by a Herts police hate crime officer to report the crime.
YC Hertfordshire successfully bid for £165,000 funding from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund over three years. The money is designated to improve and promote services and support LGBT young people.
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Daisy, a member of Who Not What, said: “We made the hate crime film because it is an important issue and the actual process of reporting hate incidents is rarely addressed.”
Councillor Teresa Heritage, the county council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “Working with the young LGBTQ community is really important to us. That is why our youth service runs 11 LGBTQ groups and three transgender groups to support their physical and emotional needs.”
Herts police’s Chief Constable, Charlie Hall, said: “We are committed to providing the best service to all our diverse communities and the LGBT community is an important part of this.”
A Herts police spokesman said: “We have done a lot of proactive work here in Hertfordshire to encourage victims of hate crime to come forward and report these types of incidents.
“They can be confident they will be taken seriously and treated with respect. We have dedicated hate crime officers who offer victims support and advice.”
She added: “The campaign work we have done can in part be attributed to the rise in reports of hate crime in the county, however there have been changes to the crime recording process which saw all types of crime rise.”