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Hate Crime Officers

 

Hertfordshire Constabulary has a dedicated team of Hate Crime Officers (HCOs) who offer support to victims and provide specialist guidance to police officers who are investigating hate crimes.

 

HCOs deal with hate crime and hate incidents exclusively meaning that they are well equipped to understand many of the concerns faced by victims and witnesses. They treat victims with respect and in confidence.

 

HCOs have a range of other duties as well, including:

  • Leading on more complex or protracted hate crime investigations
  • Working with partners such as schools or housing providers to help educate or tackle particular issues
  • Overseeing mediation between victims and offenders, if appropriate
  • Helping to manage community relations or tensions
  • Giving confidential advice on the options available to victims and talking them through the possible outcomes
  • Supporting victims if it goes to court, by explaining the process, taking steps to help them follow what's going on during court hearings if it is needed, and helping with victim impact statements
  • Signposting victims to charities and other organisations where they can get further advice
  • They can also help identify any particular needs of offenders that relate to their offending – such as mental health issues.
  • They also help train the growing number of third party reporting centres around Hertfordshire.

Hate Crime Officers Irfan Ishaq and Sam Bailey explain more about their role here.