Wiltshire Police has seen an increase in the number of people being convicted for hate crimes.
National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which started on Saturday (14/10 and runs till 20/10), aims to raise awareness of those who are targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability, and encourage more people - whether a victim or witness - to report hate crime.
The latest national hate crime percentage rate for convictions of this crime is 67%. However, in Wiltshire, we are above that - in August it was at 80% and in September at 75%.
Throughout the awareness week we will be sharing stories (via our social media channels and website) from several people who have been at the receiving end of racist and transphobic abuse – two of our officers who were subjected to a tirade of racial abuse, and a transgender woman who has experienced many sexist and degrading comments over the years. Please look out for our posts.
Chief Inspector Gill Hughes, Hate Crime Lead for Wiltshire Police, said: “We, as a Force, have a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime. No one should be attacked for who they are – for their race, nationality, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, gender identity or disability.
"Behind every crime there is a victim, another human being, and incidents such as these can leave a life-long lasting impact.
“I am hoping that this awareness week will encourage anyone who has been subjected to any form of hate crime to report it.
“I am also hoping it underlines the fact that all forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable, and we will do all we can to investigate reports and ensure those who carry out these acts are appropriately dealt with."