Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Commissioner's Action on Hate Crime
Each fortnight, the Police and Crime Commissioner writes a column for the Herts and Essex Observer. ​This article was published on the 17th October 2017.

“Hate Crime” is a relatively new term, but sadly the crimes themselves are all too common. They are offences which single people out for who they are, what they believe, and even their physical and mental disabilities. Ultimately, they are crimes of intolerance and ignorance.
 
There aren’t many occasions that I, as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, want to see the crime figures go up. Hate crime, however, is one area of crime which is much under-reported, and I welcome more people coming forward and informing the police about these incidents. Since I was first elected, five years ago, I have appealed to people across the county to report these crimes. To stop brushing away the nasty comments as just something people felt they had to tolerate. It encourages segregation and creates a sense of fear. It has many forms: verbal abuse, a disgusting comment on a social network, a bloody attack on the streets.
 
This is unacceptable behaviour. Many of us will have witnessed it in some form or other. We all know we should probably say something, but who has challenged it? It’s that low level tolerance of hate crime which creates the atmosphere where someone goes on to stab a man purely on the strength of his accent or the colour of his skin. My plan for policing Hertfordshire is called “Everybody’s Business” and we all have a duty to call this behaviour out when we see it.
 
To some, there is a perception that the police don’t take these crimes seriously. I can assure you this is not the case and where there have been shortcomings, a lot has been done to address that. The government has made progress in encouraging the recording of hate crimes among police forces and Hertfordshire Constabulary has given extensive training to officers to help identify and support hate crime offences. Hertfordshire’s victim care centre Beacon is available to support people whether they have reported the incident to the police or not.
 
This is Hate Crime Awareness Week, and we are launching a new Hate Crime Strategy, setting out how we must go further to prevent these crimes in the first place, prosecute those who commit them, and support the victims throughout - and beyond - their journey through the criminal justice system.
 
We have seen an increase in recorded crime figures - I believe this shows a greater confidence in the ability of our detectives and police officers to investigate and prosecute this absolutely abhorrent behaviour. We will not and must not tolerate any form of hate crime, wherever it happens and whoever it comes from.
 
Beacon can be reached by visiting www.hertfordshirebeacon.org. You can report a hate crime by visiting www.herts.police.uk or by calling 101. In an emergency always dial 999.