UK: Merseyside police commissioner vows action after increase in hate crimes

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Merseyside’s police commissioner has vowed to take action to stamp out hate crimes, after statistics showed they increased in 2013.

According to the Liverpool Echo, there were 1,256 incidents of hate crime in the area in 2013, up 7% from from 1,157 the year before.

As well as homophobia and transphobia, the statistics include hate crimes based on race, religion and disabilities.

Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who was elected last year, said: “The Chief Constable and I are committed to tackling all forms of hate crime.

“This report demonstrates the extensive work our engagement teams are doing in every community in Merseyside to increase understanding and raise awareness and knowledge.

“They are liaising with dozens of voluntary, charity and community groups to ensure people across the region, in all the different communities, know the means by which they can report such an incident.

“I want people to know that here on Merseyside you will be listened to, supported and helped if you come forward following any incident motivated by hate, prejudice or intolerance.

“If this means the number of reported hate crimes increases then that is what we must accept and encourage in order to protect our residents and prevent them from being targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.”

Kennedy said she is looking at setting up dedicated centres where people can report hate crimes.