Northamptonshire helpline launched at start of Hate Crime Awareness Week for those with "nowhere else to turn"

"Hate crime not only harms victims, it also harms their families and communities .. and too many incidents are not reported"

Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:31 am
Updated Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:32 am

A new 24/7 telephone helpline is being launched in Northamptonshire to help anyone directly affected by or witnessing hate crime.

It will be operated by national charity Stop Hate UK to report incidents and receive help, support, advice and guidance.

Lines are open from Monday (October 9) to mark the start of the tenth annual National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

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Stop Hate UK chief executive, Rose Simkins, said: “All forms of hate crime are significantly under-reported and some people and communities are reluctant or unwilling to talk to the police.

"We are able to support people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn. Contact with our helpline, or other reporting channels, might be the first time an individual has talked to someone about the things they are experiencing.

"No-one should have to suffer hate crime in silence and working together with the police we can help to make a difference in Northamptonshire.”

Northamptonshire Police prevention manager, Laura Jones, added: “Whilst we encourage victims and witnesses to contact the police regarding Hate Crime, it’s a really positive step for the County to have an independent third party reporting facility, providing 24/7 support to victims and witnesses.

Charity Stop Hate UK says many hate crimes go unreported

"We hope this service helps to bring some resolution to those who have sadly been victimised.”

The helpline is being funded jointly by Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and the two local unitary authorities in west and North Northamptonshire.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said: “Tackling Hate Crime has been an important priority for me.

"The first contact for victims of Hate Crime is vitally important and if they receive a bad response they could be lost to services and never have the confidence to report again.

"Hopefully this helpline will demonstrate that they can access expert support and be assured that any report they make will be robustly dealt with.”

West Northants Council leader, Jonathan Nunn, added: “Hate crime not only harms its victims, it also harms their families and communities.

"We know that too many hate crimes and incidents are not reported. If more people report Hate Crime, we can gain a better understanding of the problem and how to prevent it from happening."

■ The Stop Hate Line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 0800 138 1625. The helpline is also available by text message on 07717 989 025 and by email to [email protected]

British Sign Language users can report via the interactive BSL link on the website stophateuk.org while victims and witnesses can also chat on the web or fill in an online form by visiting www.stophateuk.org/talk. Anybody who contacts the Stop Hate Line can do so anonymously if they prefer.

Where someone has chosen to give their personal details to Stop Hate UK, their trained staff and volunteers will ask who they want their details to be shared with. The charity can also share information with the police and council, with consent, to ensure that those affected by hate crime, in any way, can access the support they need.