Tackling hate crime – encouraging residents to come forward

Dear Editor,

As Chairman of the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel, I would like to take this opportunity to update your readers on our current work, scrutinising and supporting the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Michael Lane, in setting policing priorities and engaging with local communities.

With National Hate Crime Awareness Week starting on 13 October, it is timely that we recently received a report from the Commissioner on this topic and how this is being addressed in ‘our patch’. Hate crime, hostility or prejudice towards someone because of their beliefs, appearance, disability, ethnicity or gender, can have a devastating impact on someone’s life, and affects people of all ages and backgrounds.

We know the reporting of hate crime is patchy, with residents citing concerns around the difficulties of registering incidents. The Panel welcomes the Police and Crime Commissioner’s plans in this area, which will include increasing the number of places to which people can go to report a hate crime. There are also strategies to improve awareness and understanding of what hate crime is among key groups, such as students and ethnic minorities.

The Panel was in support of the Commissioner’s comprehensive programme of work to tackle hate crime – this creates a strong platform for coloration with partners.

It is that time of year again for annual reports to be published. We were pleased to receive the Commissioners report and present ours, providing an overview of the topics that have been scrutinized during 2017-18 which include Cyber Crime and traffic related Crime.

Looking forward, we will continue to develop our in-depth, proactive scrutiny of how the Commissioner supports policing by engaging with a number of key stakeholders, including those working in the Constabulary.

It is crucial that the Panel takes the views of the public into account in discussions to ensure that we are focusing on the topics that mean the most to them. To let us know what’s important to you, visit http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-pcp/pcp-questions.htm

Councillor David Stewart
Chairman of Hampshire Police and Crime Panel