Police and fire service host first ever hate crime conference
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A forum focused on eradicating hate from Nottinghamshire has been held at the police and fire service’s joint headquarters.
The conference represented the first time Nottinghamshire Police has hosted an event of this kind – all with the intention of raising awareness about ways to tackle hate crime.
Around 100 people attended Friday's (13 October) event, includingpolice officers and staff, as well as representatives from the fire service, NHS, universities, councils and other third sector organisations.
The forum was organised ahead of the national Hate Crime Awareness Week, which started on Saturday (14 October) and runs until this Saturday (21 October).
Guest speakers from different organisations provided an insight into the work they do, in a bid to improve understanding and give attendees an opportunity to ask questions.
The conference also provided a forum for people to explore how the police and other organisations can work in partnership to tackle hate crime, support victims and engage with communities around this topic.
Chief Inspector James Walker, Nottinghamshire Police’s hate crime lead, said: “This was a fantastic event that brought a range of different people together for a common cause of highlighting the damage hate can cause and why it won’t be tolerated.
“It also really showed the importance of the work being done to counteract the different forms of hate crime, while giving people the platform to share their lived experiences and the support available in the process.
“This was the first time we’ve ever hosted an event like this at Nottinghamshire Police, so we were really proud to be able to do this and it’s great to have received so much positive feedback following the conference, with several people requesting that it become an annual event.”
A hate crime can be separated into three types – physical assault, verbal abuse or incitement of hatred – and is any incident that is perceived to be based on someone’s prejudice towards a person because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
The event at the Sherwood Lodge joint headquarters was organised by the force’s Hate Crime team, who work closely with local partners to support victims of hate and engage with communities to ensure more people feel comfortable reporting incidents.
Empowering more people to do this is the key focus of Nottinghamshire Police’s ‘Take Aim at Hate’ campaign, which was launched last year, and has coincided with the force achieving an 86% satisfaction rate following feedback from hate crime victims.
Ch Insp Walker added: “We’re very proud to have improved victim satisfaction for those who have reported incidents of hate, with the hard work of our Hate Crime team playing a big part in this.
“However, while this score represents the highest we’ve ever had as a force, we fully appreciate more still needs to be done.
“It is so important that we continue to work with our partners to achieve our objective of increased reporting of hate crimes, which is very important and a key message of our Take Aim at Hate campaign.”
Area Manager Andy Macey, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Head of Emergency Response, added: “Our mission as a service is creating safer communities, so it goes without saying that we stand firmly against all types of hate. There is absolutely no place for it in Nottinghamshire or beyond.
“We are committed to working with our partners to do our bit in stamping it out, so it was brilliant to have this conference held at our joint police and fire headquarters.
“Listening to the speakers talk about their own experiences of hate, and hearing our colleagues talk about the role we can all play in tackling it, was really useful for us in understanding how we can help, as a public service in the county, to increase reporting and reduce this type of crime.”