PEOPLE who have suffered from crimes motivated by hostility towards their race, faith, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity can now report incidents without going to a police station.
Libraries in Derby and Derbyshire are offering Stop Hate UK signposting services to victims of hate crime.
They are providing an alternative place where a victim, or someone concerned about a victim, can report hate crime incidents without having to speak directly with police.
Staff at libraries in both the city and county will support victims and witnesses to access the Stop Hate UK service by use of a telephone or computer terminal.
The service is victim led and library staff can help discuss the options with those wanting to report a hate crime, and can support them in which option they take.
Inspector Ian Davey, Diversity Manager for Derbyshire police said: “Many hate crimes go unreported because victims may feel they don’t want to bother the police, are uncomfortable talking to an officer about their experiences or might not want anyone to see a police officer visiting their house.
“Victims may find it easier and more comfortable reporting hate incidents at their local library, which can offer a supportive and confidential environment. This means that the police can take action and help stop offenders from getting away with crimes which may previously have not been reported.”
Councillor Hilary Jones, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at Derby City Council, said: “This innovative scheme will help tackle incidents of hate crime in our community and will offer a neutral environment to help victims come forward.
“It is important that we send out a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and through supporting victims to report hate crime we will get a step closer to eradicating this heinous crime.”
Stop Hate UK is a charity that provides independent and confidential support to people affected by hate crime.
It aims to raise awareness and understanding of discrimination and hate crime, to encourage reporting and support the individuals and communities it affects.
As part of the service, people can call a free 24 hour helpline, go online or contact the organisation through post or text to report hate incidents.
To contact Stop Hate UK call 0800 138 1625 or visit the website www.stophateuk.org.