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A smartphone app's being launched by Hampshire Police - for reporting hate crimes.
The ‘Helping Victims of Hate Crime’ app has been developed for Hampshire Constabulary and is officially launched on Tuesday 14th May, in conjunction with Hampshire Cricket Community Trust.
The app brings together information about hate crimes and hate incidents and encourages people to report them. It was developed from the design for a booklet previously created for the Hampshire Police Authority and piloted in the Western Area of the constabulary.
PC Ahmed Sasso, who is based in Southampton, developed the idea in force. He said:
“The communities we serve across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are diverse and the app is another tool to help us connect with them. The idea is to provide information in one handy place about hate crimes including how to report them, how to stay safe and what support is available for victims.
“These are crimes and incidents where the victim is targeted because of who they are, for example, because of the colour of their skin, their sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, religion or ethnicity.
“We treat all reports of a hate crime or hate incident very seriously. They’re cowardly and unacceptable crimes which can affect not only the victim but also their family, friends and, in certain cases, a whole section of a community.
“If you or someone you know has been assaulted, threatened, intimidated because of who you are, you can report it directly to the police or through the True Vision website or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity.
“The main advice is don’t suffer in silence and don’t let them get away with it. It could be that whoever’s done this is targeting people more vulnerable than you and may not understand how hurtful their behaviour is.”
Simon Fox, Hampshire Cricket Community Trust Manager, said:
“Sport has often led the way with tackling incidences of hate, of any description, and this newly launched app will now make it significantly easier for people to voice their concerns and fears where they previously may not have.
“As a Charitable Trust, we will be working closely with Hampshire Constabulary to support people when they need it most and particularly those who may be facing difficult issues. All our Trust, Community-wide work will reinforce the key message that hate crime of any kind has no place in modern society and for those who may have suffered or been targeted that there is now a modern interactive method of support for them. We have a fantastic, diverse county and it is embracing these societal challenges and differences together that will ultimately create a more harmonious, pleasant place to live.”
The app was developed by C5 Consultancy for Hampshire Constabulary. It includes a definition of hate crime as well as more detailed information about crimes targeting a victim’s race, sexual orientation, transgender identity, disability, religion, age or refugee or asylum status.
The app is available for iPhones and Android phones and is free.
The force also says if you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate incident or hate crime, call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also call the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 or log on to the True Vision hate crime reporting website.