Support for the people of Medway

Figures from the independent charity, Victim Support show that since lockdown restrictions began easing in England in the week commencing 29th March, all hate crime referrals increased to 67% above average levels.

Within this figure, the number of people seeking support for race and nationality hate crime in England and Wales increased to a shocking 73% above average.
While hate crimes have unfortunately always been an issue in our society, this recent surge brings to light a possible connection between the easing of restrictions and racial targeting. 

What is a hate crime? 

Hate crimes are defined as an illegal act motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on their perceived or actual disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Hate crimes are distinguishable from hate incidents, which are acts of prejudice directed at someone (for the same reasons as hate crimes) but which do not rise to the level of criminal offences.

Despite their differences both hate crimes and hate incidents are growing in number. Moreover, the fear is that cases are still severely under-reported.

Effects of hate crimes

In some cases, the victims of hate crimes can feel so unsafe that they fear leaving their homes or are forced to leave an area. In other cases, victims are faced with financial loss as they pay for damage repairs to their property as a result of graffiti and vandalism. 

What can you do if you have witnessed or been the victim of a hate crime?
Whether you have been a personal victim or have witnessed a crime, you can report the incident to the police. They will take your statement and investigate the crime. When reporting the crime, try to remember to state what you believe the motivating factor of the crime to be, for example, disability, religion, political, etc. 

If you are ever unsure whether the encounter you have experienced is criminal or not, it is always best to still report it as the police will have a record of it in case the incident reoccurs. They will also be able to provide you with services to help you cope with what has happened as it is often a very distressing experience. 

In summary

If you wish to report a crime you have either witnessed or been the victim of, please contact the emergency services.

If you wish to seek advice on what the best course of action is, please contact us on: 01634 383760

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