Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Major new study examines how best to support victims of hate crime
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has commissioned the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies to undertake a pioneering project between January and April 2016 to identify the experiences and expectations of support services for hate crime victims in Hertfordshire.
 
This project, in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary and the County Community Safety Unit, contributes to the delivery of a core commitment set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan, Everybody’s Business, for commissioning specialist services for victims of hate crime to help them cope and recover from their experiences.
 
Hate crime has devastating effects on victims, their families and wider communities and effective support is vital in helping to repair the damage. The findings from this research will be used to improve the support services available to hate crime victims in Hertfordshire via Beacon, the county's new Victim Care Centre, to inform the commissioning process, and to develop a new hate crime strategy.
 
Leading the research on the project, Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy from the University of Leicester said: “Victims of hate crime often have little awareness of or confidence in existing services and this can reinforce the sense of isolation felt by many victims. We therefore welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively with Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to address this problem.”
 
Commissioner Lloyd said: “In my Police and Crime Plan, I pledged to tackle the issue of hate-motivated crime and hate-motivated anti-social behaviour. The commissioning of this research provides a valuable open and accessible platform for the people of Hertfordshire to share their experiences – an essential move to help shape our direction for tackling what has become a very prevalent area of crime nationwide.
 
He added: “I urge people in the county to take part in the survey, whether online or in person. Doing so will help us provide further support for Hate Crime Victims, and also will play an essential role in shaping our hate crime strategy moving forward.” 
 
The research team are looking for people in Hertfordshire to share their views either through a short survey, which is available in both hard copy or online, or through interviews. The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HertfordshireHateCrimeSurvey  
 
During January, the research team will be attending different community groups and organisations to hear from as many people as possible. If you would like to be involved in the project, please contact Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy on 0116 252 3784 or via email at LCHS@le.ac.uk .