Hate crime officers look to visit youth football clubs ahead of World Cup
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Ahead of the World Cup, Hertfordshire’s hate crime officers are keen to visit youth football clubs to talk about hate crime and how to report it.
This weekend, PC Andrea Haughton will be at Welwyn Garden City Youth FC at Ridgeway Academy to encourage young players, their parents and carers to report hate crime.
“It’s important that young people know that hate crime will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire – on or off the pitch,” said PC Haughton. “Hate crime is so personal, with people targeted because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. I want to help those that have been victimised and hopefully educate the offenders of such crimes that their behaviour is not acceptable and why.”
A police officer for 25 years and a hate crime officer for three years of that, covering Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere, PC Haughton says while Hertfordshire is generally a safe and tolerant county, like anywhere else, crimes and incidents motivated by hatred can occur.
“Hate crime officers work to tackle and challenge these incidents, educate people and support those who have been affected. I enjoy the varied role, supporting victims of hate crime, raising awareness of it and seeing the positive impact this has on people’s lives, that they know and feel supported by the police if they are subjected to hate.”
Hate crimes include assaults, threats or acts of vandalism, or any other crime committed against someone because of their disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation.
The impact of a hate crime on someone can be devastating. It can cause them to lose their confidence and be fearful about coming and going from their home, being out and about in public places or just going about their daily lives.
Any incidents reported to police will be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively.
We believe many hate crimes go unreported. We want to increase the number of victims reporting offences against them so we can do something about it, to better understand the scale of the problem, and ensure victims can receive support from hate crime officers.