Hate Crime week of awareness encourages public: Don't ignore it - Report it
Don’t ignore it – report it – is the message which will be given out as part of Hertfordshire Hate Crime Awareness Week this week (15th to 19th June). Hate crime is a crime in which a victim is perceived to be targeted because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity.
Co-ordinated by the County Community Safety Unit, the awareness-raising events around the county are supported and endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd. It is also supported by Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults board and also coincides with national Mencap Learning Disability Awareness Week.
A conference at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage starts the week of action on Monday. Commissioner Lloyd is a keynote speaker.  He said: “Hate crime hurts us all. It strikes at the heart of our communities. It is destructive and it is abhorrent.
“We owe it to every victim of Hate Crime to keep challenging the idiotic and backward attitudes that keeps Hate Crime alive. How is it right that someone should be subjected to hate just because they may have certain characteristics?”
The conference brought together partner organisations and agencies from across Hertfordshire.  Key speakers included leads from central government, local police, national charities and the Crown Prosecution Service. The event also provided an opportunity to hear from the Centre of Hate Crime Studies at the University of Leicestershire.
The week further includes the launch of a Hertfordshire-specific mobile app providing advice, support and opportunity to report a Hate Crime.
The Hertfordshire Hate Crime Promise for 2015, which includes a pledge for people to sign, will also be launched this week.
Hertfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson, who opened the week of awareness at the conference said: “Hate Crimes are despicable offences. Those who are victims of hate crimes often do not know how to report it. Awareness weeks such as this are needed to inform people that we are here for them and also to encourage carers and members of the public to also spot the signs.
“We have seen an increase in reporting of these offences however we cannot be complacent and I am in no doubt that these are still under – reported. “Don’t ignore it – report it”.”
Find out more about hate crime and how to report it:
Information about third party reporting of hate crime:
If you have been a victim of hate crime but have not reported it to police or a third party reporting centre you are still entitled to emotional help and support through the new Beacon Victim Care Centre for Hertfordshire available: http://www.hertscommissioner.org/beacon  
or direct: www.hertfordshirebeacon.org