North West Evening Mail, Thursday 20 September 2012

Hate Crime Threats

THE number of hate crimes across Cumbria has fallen – but police fear more crimes could be going unreported.

Hate crimes are recorded in five categories where the victim, or any other person, perceived the criminal offence to be motivated by hostility based on a person’s race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or where the victim was perceived to be transgender.

According to figures from the Association of Chief Constables, 263 hate crimes were reported to Cumbria police last year, down from 275 the previous year.

In addition the number of anti-semitic incidents – discrimination against Jews, which are recorded separately, remained at zero.

Nationally hate crime fell from 48,127 to 44,519 and anti-semitic incidents from 488 to 438.

A spokesperson for Cumbria police said: “Hate crime is unacceptable. Everybody has the right to live without the fear of violence or intimidation and Cumbria Constabulary is committed to tackling hate crime in communities.

Police in Cumbria have taken positive steps to encourage people to speak out and report any incident that they consider to be hate crime.

Reporting hate crime in Cumbria is now much more convenient after police and partners introduced a vast network of third party reporting centres where people can choose to report hate crime in an environment which is familiar to them.

Although these figures are an indication that instances of hate crime are falling in Cumbria, we are aware that it can often go unreported and will continue to encourage anyone who has been a victim to contact police.”

A breakdown shows across Cumbria there were 180 incidents of race hate crimes reported in both years.

The number of hate crimes for faith, sexual orientation and disability fell in 2011 compared with the previous year, but there was a slight increase in crimes reported thought to be based on a person being transgender.

A statement from Cumbria Constabulary added: “Cumbria Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service take hate crimes seriously.

Cumbria Constabulary will strive to lead the way in promoting a diverse community for all who those who wish to live, work and visit here.”

Cumbria Police 09.12

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