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Football tournament kicks off Hate Crime Awareness Week in Herts

9 Oct 2019
  • Football match kicks off Hate Crime Awareness Week
  • Hate Crime Awareness Week starts on Saturday 12 October
  • Being different is not a crime - being victimised because of it is

Hertfordshire is kicking off National Hate Crime Awareness Week with a football match starring players from Arsenal, Watford, Hertford, Cheshunt and Stevenage football clubs’ inclusive teams.

Police officers will be joining teams in the 7-a-side tournament, which is being hosted by Hertford FC from 12noon to 2.30pm on Sunday 13 October at Hertford FC’s ground in West Street, Hertford.

“We have at least one police officer in each team during the tournament, which has been organised to highlight that hate crime will not be tolerated in football or our communities,” said organiser PC Terasa Holden, hate crime officer for East Herts. “It’s going to be a really fun family event with hot food, an ice cream van and a raffle, so please bring the family along.”

Hate Crime Awareness Week, which runs from October 12 to 19, will see a number of awareness-raising events across the county.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s hate crime officers will be out and about in the community all week, with information stands in town centres, community centres, schools and colleges. They will be handing out our new easy read leaflet for people with learning disabilities, which explains what hate crime is, as well as how and where to report it.

“It is important that everyone understands what hate crime is and how to report it, which is why we wanted to create an easy read version of our information,” explained Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Hate Crime lead, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Treadwell.

“We take reports of hate crime very seriously but also understand not everyone will feel comfortable speaking to police. Our website provides information online to better understand what hate crime is and where people can get support if they need it.”

A hate crime is any criminal offence that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

New students at Hertford Regional College in Turnford, Broxbourne, will have a training session to understand what hate crime is, with some becoming ambassadors to support fellow students and help them report hate crimes or incidents if necessary.

We’ll be at North Herts College in Stevenage, at Jackie’s Drop In Centre in Letchworth, in Waltham Cross town centre and the University of Hertfordshire’s Hatfield campus is hosting a ‘Spread sweets not hate’ event, tasting sweet treats from around the world to encourage diversity and promote hate crime awareness.

The website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hertsagainsthate is designed to be easy to read and pages can be translated using a Google Translate feature. It includes details of third party reporting centres in Hertfordshire, where victims can report hate crimes or hate incidents, anonymously if they prefer. Details are then passed onto police.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, whose office leads the Hertfordshire Hate Crime Partnership Board, said: “Hertfordshire is a safe county but like everywhere, hate crimes can occur. These crimes can have a severe impact on the victim themselves and the wider community can also suffer as hate can breed fear and suspicion. We are united in Hertfordshire in our commitment to tackling hate crime and improving outcomes for victims. By providing information in an easy read format as well as online we’re providing useful resources for people affected by hate crime.”

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