A one-day conference to the highlight the impact of hate crime and explore how the North East can work together to tackle has been hosted by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird and the North East Racial Equality Forum (NEREF), as part of a week-long programme of events to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
A crime is considered to be a hate crime if someone has been targeted because of a protected characteristic, these include: race, faith, religion, gender, disability, gender identity, age or sexual orientation.
The conference which was held yesterday was attended by an invited list of delegates and featured a line-up of prominent national and regional academic, practice-based and community speakers who will focus on ways to combat hate crime.
Also taking place at the conference were a range of participative workshops run by key local organisations on topics such as addressing hate crime in the community.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Putting victims first and tackling hate crime are important priorities for me and that’s why I was very keen to help fund a conference for people in the region to come together – to share best practice and ways to advance it.
“We are delighted to have a line-up of leading academics and practitioners on board from a range of organisations, who can provide valuable insight on the latest developments in challenging hate crime.
“I am committed to ensuring that Northumbria Police listen to all our communities and meet regularly with a range of advisory groups to hear the thoughts of members of communities including LGBT, Disability and Belief, BME and Faith.
“I will continue to work with the Chief Constable to ensure Northumbria Police addresses all concerns and offers the best possible help and support to victims so they feel assured that they will be protected by the Criminal Justice System.”
Detective Chief Inspector Deborah Alderson from Northumbria Police, who will be speaking with Caroline Airs from the CPS on prosecutions in relation to hate crimes, said:
“This event is a great opportunity to get people who can have a real impact on the way that hate crimes are dealt with together in one place and share information and ideas on how to do it better.
“I think the victims that have volunteered to come along and share their experiences with those at the conference are incredibly brave and they are really helping improve the way that police and partners deal and respond to hate crimes.”
Throughout the week police will be running the ‘Being you is not a crime. Targeting you is’ campaign encouraging people to come forward and speak to police and partners about hate crime.
Further information on Hate Crime is available on the Northumbria Police force website.