Police chiefs in South Yorkshire are urging people to come forward to report hate crime.
A hate crime can be name-calling, blackmail, harassment and assault as a result of a victim’s disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender.
Detective Chief Inspector Melanie Palin, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Hate crime incidents can have long lasting effects on a person and can affect how people live their lives.
“We appreciate just how difficult it can be for someone to come forward and talk to us about an incident, but by coming forward to report it, you are helping yourself and potentially others as reporting it could stop something similar happening to you again, or to someone else in the future.
“Reporting hate crime will also raise awareness of this important issue and will help us as police officers to better understand it and respond in the most effective way possible.“We do not tolerate any kind of hate crime and you shouldn’t have to either, so I would encourage anyone who is a victim, a witness, or who knows someone who has experienced hate crime, to come forward and report it so we can investigate the incident and seek to provide appropriate support.
“South Yorkshire Police officers are trained to deal with incidents of hate crime and to understand victim’s needs.
“Incidents of hate crime will be taken seriously and will be investigated, with every effort made to seek a positive outcome which meets the needs of the victim. This could involve working with partner agencies to identify tensions in a particular area for example, or to provide additional support.
“Our officers will provide support and can direct you to helpful organisations and charities who can offer continued support following an incident.”
Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or visit www.southyorks.police.uk/reportcrime