Council launches new Online Hate Crime reporting service
A new online tool to make it easier to report hate crime is being launched by Wakefield Council.
The online service, the first of its kind for the Council is available through the Council's website on www.wakefield.gov.uk/hatecrime It will work alongside current ways of reporting which can be done at local police stations, Wakefield District Housing service access points, local Hate Incident Reporting Centres across the district or via the Stop Hate UK 24/7 helpline.
Cllr Richard Forster, Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities said: "At the moment we know hate crime is under reported, nationally, regionally and locally. So it is extremely important that we raise awareness of hate crime to encourage and support local people to report incidents.
"This new tool is one of the many ways we have in place to listen to people and will help to make it easier and convenient for residents to log their concerns from home or even their mobile phones. I urge anybody who is a victim or witness to this crime to report it immediately."
Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Andy Battle said: "Being who you are is not a crime, but being targeted because of race, sexual orientation, religion, disability or gender identity can be.
"Hate crime takes many forms including verbal abuse, harassment, threats, intimidation, physical abuse and vandalism. It can have both a devastating effect on a single victim but also the potential to divide communities."
Hate crime is a crime or incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Figures from local charity, Stop Hate UK show that 281 incidents were reported in the Wakefield district from May 2013 to April 2014.
Anybody wanting to report an incident should do so by calling the police on 101 or 999. Support is also available from Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or by text on 07717 989 025