The number of people reporting incidents of hate crime in Derbyshire has risen.
According to the latest figures, 509 people reported offences of this nature between August 2015 and August 2016 compared to 421 between August 2014 and August 2015 – a rise of 20 per cent.
In the most recent period, race was the most common motivation behind the hate crimes reported to police.
Derbyshire police recognises, records and monitors hate crime. Hate crime is defined as any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or another person as being motivated by prejudice, hate or intolerance on the grounds of disability, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or alternative sub-culture.
The force has released these figures as part of national Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs between October 8 and 15 and which gives organisations the opportunity to increase people’s knowledge of what constitutes an offence and how they can report it.
Assistant Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “We did see a slight rise in the number of reported hate crimes in the weeks following the Brexit vote in June but the figures soon returned to a level we have typically seen in the past.
“The rise can also be attributed to an increase in confidence in reporting. More people are becoming aware of what constitutes a hate crime and feel able to come forward and talk to police about it.
“I would urge anyone who feels they have been a victim of hate crime to come forward. Crimes based on hatred will never be tolerated in Derbyshire.”
Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is estimated that roughly 75 per cent of hate crimes go unreported, which is a shocking state of affairs.
“I welcome any rise in the number of incidents reported, as only by people coming forward can we really get to the root of the problems and stamp out this totally unacceptable behaviour. Many people may think that what they are experiencing as a victim of hate crime is not important and don’t want to trouble anyone. I say if you report it then it helps to ensure that the future behaviour of these perpetrators is stopped and tackled.
“I think that people now do have more confidence to report such problems, but clearly there is a lot more work to be done.”
For more information on hate crime and how to report an offence, visit the dedicated section of the Derbyshire police website.
You can also visit www.stophateuk.org