Northamptonshire Police recruiting new Hate Crime Coordinator after ‘small increase’ in reported incidents

Northamptonshire Police has been inspected by HMIC
Northamptonshire Police has been inspected by HMIC
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Northamptonshire Police is recruiting a new Hate Crime Coordinator two years after the force disbanded its Hate Crime Unit.

As part of a new Hate Crime and Incidents Reduction Strategy, involving the police as well as the fire service and local authorities, all staff are trying to increase reporting of hate crime to get a better picture of hot spot areas in the county.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said there has been a small increase in reported incidents of hate crime since the referendum result, in line with other areas of the country.

Latest figures also show, since March 2016, there has been a gradual increase in the number of hate incidents being recorded.

Northamptonshire Police has now decided to recruit a post of Hate Crime Coordinator, this is a police staff role rather than police officer.

The new post-holder will have responsibility for working with partners to improve communication, understanding and reporting of hate crime.

A specialist Hate Crime Unit of six officers was closed by Northamptonshire Police in April 2014.

A report due to be discussed at a Hate Crime Forum meeting tonight (Thursday) states: “Hate crimes and incidents of all forms undermine community cohesion it is important that individuals who are victimised or those who witness victimisation report it.

“Any crime in progress should be reported to police on 999, incidents that have already happened and the perpetrator has left the area can be reported on 101.”

On July 27 the county force will hold its first Hate Scrutiny Panel, volunteers from the Independent Advisory Group will select hate crime or incident cases for review and give critical feedback as to how the victim was treated, quality of the investigation or problem-solving and suitability of action taken against the perpetrator.

A statement from the Northamponshire Rights and Equality Council said the lack of reporting of hate crimes in the county was because communities “have so little confidence in Northamptonshire Police that there is a complete absence in reporting.”

The statement reads: “We would suggest that rather than Northamptonshire Police focusing on the fact that there has not been an increase in Hate Crime reporting locally, it moves on to more concerning issues, such as building good relations with communities, particularly in the light of events in the USA in relation to police action against black communities.

“Taking hate crime seriously is of key importance in rebuilding community trust.”