Launch of new helpline as figures show shocking reality of hate crime in Yorkshire

The launch of the helpline comes as latest figures reveal there were 7.923 hate crime offences recorded byWest Yorkshire Police during 2018.
The launch of the helpline comes as latest figures reveal there were 7.923 hate crime offences recorded byWest Yorkshire Police during 2018.
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A new hate crime helpline to provide a 24-hour support service to young people under the age of 18 has been set up in Yorkshire.

Leeds-based charity Stop Hate UK has launched the Call Hate Out service which now operates across West and South Yorkshire and provides advice and support for young people who have been a target or witnessed hate crime.

The launch comes as latest figures reveal there were 7.923 hate crime offences recorded by West Yorkshire Police during 2018.

Of the 7,923 offences, 3061 were recorded in Leeds, 2070 in Bradford,1225 in Kirklees, 907 in Wakefield and 660 in Calderdale.

Figures also reveal how South Yorkshire Police recorded 2,872 hate crime incidents during 2018.

Of the 2,872 crimes, 1987 were racial hate crimes, 372 were sexual orientation, 262 were disability, 173 religion and 78 transgender.

Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK, Rose Simkins said: "This is a long-term commitment from Stop Hate UK and we hope it will help more young people to get the support and advice they need.

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"Hate Crime can happen anywhere and we know that there has been a big increase in online hate, so Call Hate Out will provide young people with all the relevant online methods and platforms to report hate crime and get the help they need.

"Our long term vision for Call Hate Out is to add even more resources to support and grow this vital work."

A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity

Ms Simkins says Stop Hate UK's aim is to make as many people aware of the new helpline in the coming weeks.

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She said: "Gradually we are getting more people to know about the new help line and so far it has been very warmly welcomed. If professionals are seeing it as being useful to support young people then that is really positive news already."

The helpline has been made possible thanks to the charity's Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSBT) project which works in partnership with The National Holocaust Centre to educate schools about the Holocaust and how to tackle anti-Semitism in society today.

Ms Simkins said: "We have been talking to year nine students across Yorkshire about hate crime and lessons we can learn from the Holocaust and how that is manifesting itself today.

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"As part of that we thought we want to give them an outlet where they know is for then and decided to launch the new help line providing support and confidential advice."

Ms Simkins also spoke of the importance of getting young people to report hate crime.

She said: "We know that young people are really unrepresented in the official reporting statistics, however in the last 12 months or so nationally, there has been more young people reporting offences.

"We know it is under reported, they really don't want to be seen a grass or telling on people and on the other hand they are not always understanding that what they are experiencing is hate crime.

"We want these young people to know that we are here to help."