Hate crime to be highlighted in town centre event

Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury
Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury

An event to raise awareness of hate crime is being held at Friars Square Shopping Centre on Friday.

It is being hosted by the Aylesbury Vale community safety partnership which will be joined by officers and members of Aylesbury Vale District Council.

From midday they will be offering advice on what is defined as a hate crime, how to report it and highlighting the various support agencies that are available to victims.

Hate crime may be defined as ‘any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.’

Typically this may cover aspects of an individual’s identity which can include disability, gender identity, race, ethnicity or nationality, religion, faith or belief and sexual orientation.

A victim of hate crime does not have to be a member of a minority group or someone who is generally considered to be a ‘vulnerable’ person - anyone can be a victim.

Insp Kelly Glister said: “Hate crime cases reported directly to the police are low.

“I hope the awareness event will encourage people to have the trust and confidence to report matters to the police in order for us to take action and do something positive about it.

“People should not have to suffer because they belong to a certain social group.

“While in the main, we have a very inclusive and cohesive community across Aylesbury Vale, we take reports of hate crime very seriously and we would like to encourage victims to come forward and report incidents to us via 101.

“We are committed to identifying, tackling and reducing hate crime in all its forms.

“I hope that this event will show victims that the police and its partners take all incidents of hate crime seriously and action will be taken against those that target individuals.”

AVDC cabinet member for community matters Cllr Pam Pearce said: “Residents should be able to feel safe and secure in communities across our district, and I feel information about hate crime and how we are working to tackle it is very important.

“I would also encourage anyone unable to attend to report hate crime to the police immediately. There is no need to suffer this abuse and help is available.”